History of Gay and Lesbian Life in Wisconsin - People - Bios

Bjorn Nasset



Primary Involvements:

Drag Performer
Board member, Wis. LGBTQ History Project

Primary Location:

Milwaukee, WI



Bjorn Nasset, widely known as drag performer B.J. Daniels, has a long history with the LGBTQ community. For over 40 years their name has been synonymous with the best in drag entertainment in Wisconsin. The winner of numerous citations, as well as civic awards over the years, they are also the co/author of "A History of Milwaukee Drag: Seven Generations of Glamour" available wherever books are sold.

Nasset was interviewed by 'Wisconsin Light' newspaper in January 1997 and shared some of his story as B.J. Daniels. (Read the full article in the images linked below.) An excerpt:

    I grew up in a little town call Rockdale. It's near Madison. I grew up on a tobacoe farm. But it was always my destiny, I think, to do something in the theater. I always wanted to play make believe. I'd get up on the back of a tobacco wagon and it would be my stage.

    I remembering discovering late movies on Channel 6. My parents would go to bed and I would sneak down and watch. I remember taping '42nd Street' from the TV. I must have been about 9. 'Flying Down to Rio', that was one I really liked. I would play those tapes and act out the numbers. I loved it.

    I came (to Milwaukee) in '82 on invitation of Ginger Spice who was forming a show there. She met me- I was Miss Gay Madison at that timeā€”and she said, "Would you like to come to Milwaukee and do shows with us?" I jumped at the idea.

    So, when I first came to Milwaukee, they introduced me as B.J. from Madison. That was my name.

    It was Rona who gave me B.J. Daniels because it was the early 1980's. Everybody partied a lot and I drank Jack Daniels... Rona decided I should marry the bottle of Jack Daniels. She actually altered a bottle of Jack Daniels and put a "B" on it and crossed out the "ack" and I became B.J. Daniels.

B.J. is proud to be a board member of the nationally recognized Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project as they dedicate themselves to preserving and recording the stories from our state wide community. B.J. has been widely representing the Project at various events and in interviews since 2018.

Carte de Reine card, obverse
(from Jerry Johnson Collection)
Carte de Reine card, reverse
(from Jerry Johnson Collection)
New Miss Gay Wisconsin
(InStep vol 1-13, Nov. 1984)
Ad: Club 219 celebrates New
Miss Gay Wisconsin B.J. Daniels
(InStep vol 1-13, Nov. 1984)
Steppin Out column:
B.J. Daniels MC's Club 219's
Lip Synch finals
(InStep vol 2-14, July 1985)
Steppin Out column: B.J. Daniels
has retired as a performer!
(InStep vol 6-02, Feb. 1989)
Profile: B.J. Daniels retires as
MC and star entertainer at Club 219
(InStep vol 12-16, August 1995)
Article: B.J. Daniels talks about life and career
(Wis Light vol 10-03, Jan. 1997)

Credits: Web site concept, design and arrangement by Don Schwamb;
Last updated: April-2024.

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