Tempest Heat / Jonathan Carthell Hughlett

by | Jan 1, 2024 | 0 comments

Tempest Heat, an acclaimed and beloved Wisconsin drag performer, passed away on January 2, 2024.

Tempest Heat was the drag persona of Jonathan Carthell Hughlett.  She graced many stages across Wisconsin, serving as a mentor or “drag mother” to countless other performers. Tempest won many titles as a pageant performer, including “Miss LaCage” (2008-2009), “Miss WI USofA At Large” (2010) and “Miss Gay Madison” (2023), according to the Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project. She was a regular performer at PrideFest, Hamburger Mary’s, D.I.X, This Is It! and La Cage in Milwaukee, and FIVE Nightclub in Madison.  Tempest also hosted drag queen story hours for children.  She was promoting an upcoming gig in Madison as recently as Monday.

In recent years, Tempest became an outspoken champion for Black gay and drag history. After appearing on the BeSeen podcast in 2022, she joined the Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project in 2023 as a Community Advisor.

The performer was battling kidney disease for several years, according to a 2022 interview. An official cause of death had not been released as of press time.

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