Members of Regina LGBTQ community mourning loss of Sister Jenny Talia
REGINA -- Regina’s LGBTQ community is mourning the loss of a Queen, after Derek Seitz, who was also known by their drag persona Sister Jenny Talia, passed away suddenly on Tuesday.
“She changed the life of many people, young and old,” Terry Van Mackelberg, a friend of Seitz said. “She changed their life for the better.”
The 38-year-old was known for their campy, elaborate and detailed costumes, spending hours applying makeup and prepping their look.
“I’m a lazy Queen,” Van Mackelberg laughed. “I’ll wear the same thing time after time, but Jenny would not do that. She always had to up it, she always had to do something differently.”
Seitz was employed by Brandt Tractors but also worked the door at Q Nightclub and Lounge in Regina where they were the first to greet patrons. Dozens of members of the LGBTQ community shared condolences and memories of their beloved friend on social medial.
“He was just always exuberating kindness and joy and all the things that he would want to see in others,” shared Nicole Lariviere, a friend and co-worker at Q.
Lariviere said when they performed drag as Sister Jenny Talia, their performances were always thought-provoking as well as entertaining.
“He has an outfit that is all about prep awareness, the medication as prevention for HIV and AIDS,” Lariviere said. In one video posted online, Talia can be seen dancing to Leona Lewis’ pop hit ‘Bleeding Love’.
“He once dressed up as a giant feminine hygiene product,” said Lariviere.
Dan Shier, one of the co-chairs of Queen City Pride, said it was hard to miss Seitz on stage. “If you’ve ever gone to a drag show in the city they’re probably the one performance that you walk away from the show remembering,” Shier shared.
Talia/Seitz was also a Queen behind the scenes. They mentored youth at Lulu’s Lodge, an establishment aimed at offering homeless youth in the LGBTQ community a safe place to stay and succeed.
They also started the Regina chapter of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the “Bread Basket Sister”. The group raises money for fundraising initiatives like student grants for the queer community.
“Everything that she’s done has been in one way or another meant to fundraise support Regina’s queer community,” Shier said.
In 2019, they were named Regina’s Person of Pride for their many contributions to the LGBTQ community.
“Their mission was to spread joy end stigmatic guilt and just make this world a better place,” added Van Mackelberg.
“Jenny knew people for who they were and could see their soul,” Shier added.
The community is planning a memorial and is also asking for donations in Talia’s honour to local LGBTQ organizations.