Why Drag Race’s Yuhua Hamasaki hasn’t come out to her parents
RuPaul’s Drag Race queen Yuhua Hamasaki used to feel “very ashamed” of her Chinese culture but now vows to “glorify and embrace” her identity.
The season 10 Drag Race star, who identifies as gender-neutral, is not out to her parents as it would be “very, very hard to even approach them.”
Speaking exclusively to PinkNews, Yuhua explained: “In Asian culture, unlike most cultures, it’s actually very, very hard to be LGBT. People view LGBT people as mentally ill.
“So it’s very, very hard for me to even approach them and tell them what the real situation is, no matter how successful I am as an entertainer. Like Kim Chi’s mother, she does not know that she does drag.
“My parents are typical Chinese parents – they go to work, they come home, they watch their Chinese soap operas, they go to sleep and they wake up, and it’s the same, old routine again.”
Yuhua is determined, however, to ensure she fully embraces her Chinese culture in drag and fight the typical media trope that drag queens must be “white, blue-eyed and blonde.”
“It’s important to be yourself at all times and also to embrace what your culture means,” she said.
“For me, that means glorifying my Chinese culture. When I first moved to the US, I was very ashamed of my culture because the media portrays that the only race that matters Anglo-Saxon, that you have to be white, blue-eyed and blonde and that any culture that was not, was to be ashamed of.
“So for a long time growing up, I was scared of eating Chinese food in front of my friends. I was scared of looking Chinese in any way, or behaving Chinese, or speaking Chinese in front of my friends.
“As I got older and started doing drag more and more, I got comfortable in my own skin, I got comfortable in my own culture and realised how beautiful my culture is. And hopefully by being myself, and embracing my culture, people, when they see me, become aware that their culture is beautiful, too.
“You can be Muslim, you can be Native American, black, Latino or Hispanic – whatever culture or race that you are, it is beautiful. You don’t have to fit a certain mould of what society or the media tells you.”
Following RuPaul’s highly-criticised comments on trans people participating in Drag Race, Yuhua made it very clear that drag should be inclusive of all genders.
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“For centuries and for generations, society has put onto us what gender has to mean. When it comes to gender-neutrality, it means you can be whatever gender you want to be, as long as you’re happy.
“I think drag is for everyone – whether you are cisgender, transgender, whether you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual – because as long as you’re having fun while doing drag, then you’re doing drag the correct way. Should there be trans people on the show? Yes. Should there be drag kings on the show? Yes. Drag, again, is for everyone.”
Yuhua Hamasaki is currently on tour – find her tour dates here.