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Rock musician explains how RuPaul’s Drag Race helped him come out as gay

Lily Wakefield October 3, 2019
RuPaul's Drag Race UK host RuPaul

RuPaul of RuPaul's Drag Race. (VH1)

An alt-rock drummer turned drag queen has told the story of how RuPaul’s Drag Race helped him explore his “lost identity” and come out as gay.

Ash Kenazi said, in a piece for The Independent, that in 2016 he “could not accept” that he was gay, but on the night of his “first non-hetero Netflix and chill” everything changed.

He had heard of the show previously, but said: “I was aware of the show, but hesitant to watch because I was worried about the consequences for my sexuality.

“Thank god for the man who sat me down and said, ‘You need your gayducation, and it starts now.'”

Kenazi’s world changed after that first All Stars episode, and he said the drag queens “showed gay culture and drag not as something to be feared, but as an act of defiance, a political statement and an embodiment of ‘charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent.’

However it wasn’t just the glamour of RuPaul’s Drag Race that changed his outlook, it was the backstories of the queens and the struggles they had overcome.

He continued: “Queens such as Katya Zamolodchikova or Latrice Royale laid bare their vulnerabilities and spoke a truth that I could relate to; the difficulties of coming to terms with their sexuality and using drag as an opportunity to reclaim a femininity that was unavailable to them in their formative years.

“Drag Race forced me to leave my comfort zone and explore my lost identity.”

Kenazi said he has learned to love all the parts of himself, and he eventually decided to reveal his own drag persona at the rock and folk festival End of the Road.

“It was important that I reveal my true self to the scene I had spent my twenties trying to fit in with… The world felt familiar to me for the first time.”

He added: “Queer existence is a challenge in double living – being yourself in a world whose morality does not truly fit your identity.

“But in the world of drag, social norms become secondary to energy and passion.

“Once a queen has already deep throated a vegetable, fallen off the bar and set off a fire extinguisher, anything is possible.”

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK premieres tonight (October 3).

More: ash kenazi, coming out, drag queens, Katya, Latrice Royale, RuPaul's Drag Race

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