Boxa Crayons applies wig glue backstage at Pieces Bar moments before going on stage for the Drag Wars drag competition in Manhattan, Monday, Nov. 15, 2021. Photo by Greg Marku

Jacob Powers cut his hair in the summer of 2020 during the pandemic, achieving an androgynous look. One year later, he came out as a non-binary trans man to his family and friends, changed his name from Jana to Jacob, and goes by the pronouns he/she/they. Unfortunately, the majority of Jacob’s family doesn’t accept or understand his trans identity. 

As a result of being misunderstood, Jacob then found drag as a creative outlet for him to unabashedly express his new identity by performing in New York City. His drag queen name is Boxa Crayons and with his professional dance background, his drag persona is a campy, cartoon-like character performing to funny and alternative music. “Drag is a way for me to tell my story without bias,” Boxa says. “Every time I perform I get a fresh start.”

After moving to Ridgewood, Queens, Boxa has been performing at some of New York City’s legendary drag venues such as Playhouse Bar, Pieces, Barracuda Lounge, and hosting at Bar Freda. In his tiny apartment, Jacob keeps his wigs and costumes and transforms into Boxa Crayons three to four times a week where he can get a little extra cash outside of his day job as a pre-school art teacher.

With her steel-boned corset, array of flashy wigs, and DIY styled heels, Boxa Crayons enters each stage living their truth and leaves with audiences cheering for more.

Jacob’s childhood photos and old dance photos in his family’s living room before coming out as a non-binary trans man, Darien, CT, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. Photo by Greg Marku

Jacob brushes the wig he will be wearing at his first time hosting at Bar Freda in Queens, N.Y., Dec. 4, 2021. Photo by Greg Marku

Boxa Crayons applying eyeliner on the floor of her Ridgewood, Queens before performing at Bar Freda, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. Photo by Greg Marku

Boxa Crayons’ wig wall at his Ridgewood, Queens apartment, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. Photo by Greg Marku

Boxa Crayons wearing her face guard, jacket, and full drag costume on her way to host at Bar Freda in Queens, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. Photo by Greg Marku

Boxa Crayons’ high heels as she gets into drag in Playhouse Bar’s bathroom before competing in Polish the Queen at Playhouse Bar, Manhattan, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Photo by Greg Marku

Boxa Crayons posing with all of the Polish the Queen drag competitors for Playhouse Bar’s promo, Manhattan, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Photo by Greg Marku

Jasmine Kennedie hosts the drag competition Polish the Queen at Playhouse Bar, weeks before being announced as a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 14, Manhattan, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Photo by Greg Marku

Boxa Crayons performing “Vroom Vroom” by Charli XCX for Playhouse Bar’s Polish the Queen drag competition, Manhattan, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Photo by Greg Marku

Boxa Crayons performing to the judges at Playhouse Bar’s Polish the Queen drag competition, Manhattan, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Photo by Greg Marku

Boxa Crayons performing “Vroom Vroom” by Charli XCX for Playhouse Bar’s Polish the Queen drag competition, Manhattan, Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021. Photo by Greg Marku