I haveĀ never publicly tell this to anyone but what I have endured should not have been done on your own. One needs a great support system and an outlet to recover from the dark. It will start pretty dark in the beginning of the post, but I assure you, there will be plenty of sparkle down the line šŸ™‚

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It was 2012, and I have just lost my mother to breast cancer. We were told of her having itĀ just 3 months before she passed, and without any warning, or even being able to gear ourselves emotionally and spiritually to the situation; she was gone.

I was 23 years old, just about to experience being in a new relationship after a tumultous 5-year one , in the middle of just accepting ‘adulthood’ and being in a job I wasn’t having the best time of doing. In an instant I became a mother, my dad’s emotional support and having to juggle everything from menial tasks to reading between the lines of our family’s emotional state. My mother was the medium through everything; the fort that hold us together, the only communicating channel between myself and my awkward, but loving father. He was there with her throughout the brief but terrifying ordeal of losing her to the pain that was. He saw her ‘leaving’ him, as I briefly did on the night the hospital called me to say that I have come to say my final goodbye, where I saw dad wailing, begging her not to go yet. I wasn’t strong enough to stay put, although he did all the way through the end, he was never the same person ever again..

So where was Rupaul’s Drag Race in all this?

Our family is complex (I mean what family isn’t) but the overall burden of communication was thrown on my mother. My dad is constantly away to work for days and my mom, who is a housewife, was very involved in every aspect of our lives; she mediate our lives. When she left, there was a supermassive black hole left in the family, with no one knowing how to relay words/ express our feelings/thoughts about the entire traumatising ordeal. The house was literally silent, with only a few exchange of words thrown around when we are hungry to have food. Each one of us coped our own way of dealing with it: brother with work/studies, sister via art and ice skating, dad with prayers and myself, with prayers and constantly getting out of the house to meet with my husband (before we got married). At times where we had to stay at home just for the sake of keeping the family together, we had to put on something silence the void in the atmosphere; or the elephant in the room that has yet to be addressed. Dad brought back a TV box from the States, where we have access on both Netflix and Hulu (thanks to bro’s clever hacking skills) and US shows in our house. While some of us binge-watch movies and shows, I found a show that I recalled seeing way back when but never thought more of it. It was Rupaul’s Drag Race. Once I hit the play button. I was instantly hooked.

It was not like any other reality TVcompetition. It was funny, it was spontaneous (at least it seemed like it was) and it was surprisingly witty. The comeback quips where legendary, and more importantly it wasn’t hypocritical.

Everything was laid bare, it was obvious these were men in the show. They came in all shapes and sizes, some with debilitating, if not deadly deseases/conditions and almost a majority of them come from difficult backgrounds. The emotions felt real, poured into their intense dialogue sessions in the makeup room or by the judging panel. I think that was what pulled me to the show: the raw authenticity of it.

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Deeper I dug myself into the Rupaul’s Drag Race fandom, the more I felt I could relate. As I had no mother figure to turn to, the only thing holding me on to advice about female troubles (and I dont mean about men) is from RuPaul himself or the contestants themselves. Depression, loneliness, frailty about being the best you are in what you do, I derive my pick-me-ups most from the show. Knowing that there is a bond stronger than having a last name and that there light beyond any hard times that are thrown at you, all manner of positivity as well. I have never seen a show where bonds of ‘sisterhood’ are as demonstrated here; shows like ANTM, The Bachelor shows women being pitted against each other like no other petty business. Sure there are dramas, but they all realistically recover at the end with less shoving/pushing or all the unneccessary slut-shaming/name-calling.

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Let’s also talk about makeup. These ladies pile them up like nobody’s business and let no one (unless they are Michelle Visages, of course) to tell them they look better without. When it comes to beauty and poise, these ladies carry themselves with more class than the Housewives of Beverly Hills/Atlanta et al. They came in all manner, shapes and sizes, skin condition, and yet they carry themselves so confidently and bold as to celebrate the body they were born in. So how come people see the ‘sinful’ moral values from the show when i feel they have championed much more than just LGBTQ rights?

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Sure there are plenty of profanities thrown around, and cattiness that I love coming from the show, but these men wear their so-called ‘flaws’ on their sleeve and what actually made the show truly unique. Where other shows talk about beating you down, they have an exemplary ways to uplift themselves on their way to victory in ways only a drag queen does!

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So why apologize for being a female? Or when you are beat at your most broken, vulnerable state? These men had brought out and continue to deliver the best version of themselves through drag and we should be taking some notes, us females, to deliver just as better; unabashedly. We have got no excuses to not to, blessed in this form that many would wish to be in.

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While God helped me see the bigger picture, Rupaul’s Drag Race pulled me out of my hopelessness and see the world in a light-hearted perspective. So, thank you drag queens, my gay friends and Ru Paul! <3

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