For many, Valentine's Day looks a little different this year. Whereas some might have planed lavish trips, or even just intimate nights out with their significant other, the ongoing pandemic has sidelined much of what is possible. But, timed to this day of love and romance, the travel website Orbitz has teamed up with Jeff Perla of The Travelin Bum for a queer-centric campaign called "Orbuttz." The face? RuPaul's Drag Race's Jackie Cox.
"Hot off the presses of [Out's] serious journalism ... I think you're responsible for this entire thing," Cox tells Out in a phone interview about the project. She was referring to the coverage we did of her selling a few nude photos to fans. "They reached out to me right after that story went up. They just asked if I would be the Face/Butt of Orbuttz."
For the project, Perla gathered a group of LGBTQ+ influencers like Logan Fletcher, Cheyenne Parker, the Zakar twins, and Britni Thornton to take some ... peachy, Valentine's Day photos (Cox appeared in hers with Perla) and talk about where they might want to travel when the world opens up. As a part of the effort, Ortbiz also donated to the Stonewall Community Foundation.
"I think what's cool about this campaign is for people to get the opportunity to start getting excited about the future," Cox says. "I think we're finally at that precipice of being able to travel again."
"But beyond that, I'm not going to lie, I was so disappointed to see so many companies pull out of supporting queer projects, queer creators, queer artists, queer entertainers without all the big fanfare of the Pride parades in cities around the globe," Cox continues. "So I thought it was really cool that Orbitz is taking a holiday like Valentine's day which really isn't especially queer — Valentine's Day is pretty hetero normative — and really taking and embracing it in a fun, queer way."
Fans of Jackie Cox may have seen a difference in the star's public persona since the show. Since the series premiered she's not been afraid to show a little more of her sexy side, particularly after the Madonna Rusical.
"Sexiness is always a journey and more than anything it's a feeling," she explains. "Most of my life I didn't feel that feeling or allowed myself to feel that feeling. I think there's so much body negativity in all of our culture, but especially in queer male culture. I'm not the most muscular person but I have been working on my fitness and I've just been working on embracing my body and having fun with it. I think Jackie as a drag character was never very sexy but even there I try to embrace a little bit of the sexy now. But out of drag, I'm like you know I'm a 30-something and I'm kind of keeping it together!"
Keeping it together, indeed.