By Rohan Ayinde Smith">

A Room of Her Own | What Matters 2 US

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A Room of Her Own

Soul, Stories

Justin responds to some of the latest notifications on Vivian’s Facebook page while his boyfriend, Jeff Miles, shows him something on his phone. Justin and Miles met while they were both studying at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. “I didn’t know much about drag before I met Justin,” Jeff said, “but I soon knew everything about it!”

Justin got into UNC in 2008 after he had completed his GED and obtained an Associate’s Degree from Pitt Community College in Greenville. “When I moved to Greenville in 2002 I was really trying to get my life back on track, because I had been partying and getting in trouble before that,” Justin explained, “but I also ended up in an abusive relationship for 6 years while I was there.”

It takes Justin upward of two hours to become Vivian with the amount of make-up he has to put on. “It’s a creative outlet for me,” Justin says. “When I become Vivian I embody a completely different space.” While Justin gets ready, Jeff occupies himself otherwise. “I didn’t know much about drag before I met Justin,” said jeff, “but now I know pretty much everything!”

This year Justin aims to be crowned Ms. Gay North Carolina America. “It’s a busy year for me. I’m hoping to compete for Ms. NC, I have to hand over the crown for Ms. Gay Raleigh, I’ve been nominated to sit on the corps for Crape Myrtle Festival (another charity organization that Justin is involved with),” said Justin, “drag is almost a second career.”