‘I Am Jazz’: Did Peppermint Show Up To Jazz’s Drag Show Fundraiser After All?

When Jazz Jennings began to plan a drag show fundraiser in South Florida for her best friend Noelle’s gender confirmation surgery, the star of TLC’s I Am Jazz knew it would be a huge undertaking.

But as the project unfolded, Jazz grew more and more stressed. The 19-year-old trans rights activist had trouble lining up enough performers, getting the word out, and ironing out the details. She started to worry that she wouldn’t be able to pull off the event after all, leaving Noelle to raise the necessary $25,000 alone.

When Peppermint, a well-known trans drag queen and a runner-up on RuPaul’s Drag Race, backed out as the headliner, Jazz felt hopeless. But on the Mar. 3 episode of I Am Jazz, “Dragilicious,” Peppermint made a surprise backstage entrance to save the day at the last minute.

Miss Peppermint
Miss Peppermint | Santiago Felipe/FilmMagic

Peppermint backed out of the event around a week beforehand

Around a week before the drag show, Peppermint (sometimes called Miss Peppermint) called Jazz to let her know she wouldn’t be able to make it. Her busy performance schedule, she explained, just wouldn’t allow it.

While the I Am Jazz star understood, she was devastated that her headliner wouldn’t be there to help Noelle. “Now that Peppermint can’t headline the event, I really just don’t have a backup plan,” Jazz lamented after hearing the news. “I am truly just feeling defeated and doubtful of everything.”

Later, with her friends, Jazz wondered if Peppermint’s absence would make the event less successful. She was terrified that the show would fail, and Noelle would have to scramble to raise the money herself.

“Peppermint was gonna headline the event, but she’s not able to make it,” Jazz said, “and that was gonna be the main appeal, to draw an audience to come to this event.”

The drag queen and LGBT rights advocate made a surprise entrance at Lips

But in an eleventh-hour miracle, Peppermint showed up to headline the drag show at Lips, a drag-themed club and restaurant. Just before the show was about to start, Peppermint appeared backstage. “Oh, honey, did somebody order some drag?” she exclaimed as she made her grand entrance. “Honey, where’s the drag queens?”

Jazz, in full makeup for her own drag performance, couldn’t believe her eyes. “Oh, hello, gorgeous!” Peppermint declared as she embraced the 19-year-old activist.

“My mind is f**king blown,” a thrilled Jazz told TLC producers, before bursting into laughter and adding, “Oh wait, I can’t say that!”

The I Am Jazz star gushed in gratitude to the busy drag queen. “Oh my god, you’re here! I’m so happy you’re here right now because I was so worried about not having a headliner,” she told Peppermint. “I don’t know how you’re here right now. There’s, like, 10 of you.”

The RuPaul’s Drag Race alum admitted it hadn’t been easy to fit the show into her tight schedule. “I took a flight. And I have another flight in about an hour,” she revealed. “But I want to do the show.”

Jazz’s mom, Jeanette Jennings, said the family couldn’t have been more grateful for Peppermint’s support and effort. “It’s just wonderful to see her,” she raved. “We did not expect her to be there. And I love that woman.”

After Peppermint’s show-stopping performance, Jeanette added that she was thankful for everything Peppermint had done, both for her daughter and for Noelle. “Peppermint is fantastic,” Jazz’s mom told I Am Jazz producers. “She is just so upbeat and so positive and so talented, and I’m just really grateful that she made it.”

The ‘I Am Jazz’ guest star spoke up about the significance of different parts of the LGBT community coming together

As both a trans woman and a drag queen, Peppermint revealed that the drag show fundraiser held special meaning for her.

After she performed, Peppermint told the crowd that seeing different factions of the LGBTQ community come together to raise money for Noelle’s surgery had inspired her.

“I gotta tell you, as a trans woman who’s also a queen, it feels so good to see the community coming together to support someone in their medical transition,” the I Am Jazz guest star said. “I wish that I had had something like this when I was on the same path, and I’m just so happy and so proud to be here. Love you, Noelle.”

Noelle, too, was inspired and overwhelmed with gratitude by both Peppermint’s commitment and Jazz’s support.

“I wasn’t expecting Peppermint to come at all,” Noelle told TLC producers. “But seeing her at this show for me and for everyone else here, it just really shows how committed she is to helping trans people. And I consider myself lucky that people actually cared for me and rallied around me enough to come here.”