A breath of fresh air, the Drag Race star and trans activist receives our Inspiratio­n Award

Herstory was memorably made when Peppermint became the first RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant to strut into the competitio­n as an out trans woman — and she has been slaying it ever since.

Sweet like candy, with a sharp shot of sass, she quickly emerged as a fan favourite and came this close to snatching the crown before finishing runner- up to season nine sister Sasha Velour. During her time on the show, Peppermint, aka Agnes Moore, earned a fearsome reputation as a “lip- sync assassin”, sending her rivals packing with a string of gagworthy performanc­es.

However, the NYC- based queen has proved to be an even sharper shooter since sashaying away from Drag Race, taking aim at transphobi­a in her work as an LGBTQ activist.

Indeed, Peppermint wasn’t afraid to clap back at RuPaul when he told The Guardian that he would “probably not” allow a trans drag queen to compete on the series, pointing out that “Peppermint didn’t get breast implants until after she left our show, she was identifyin­g as woman, but she hadn’t really transition­ed.”

Turning the tables on Mama Ru, Peppermint responded in an interview with Billboard magazine. “RuPaul kicked open so many doors for queer and gender non- conforming folk and is an absolute trail- blazer in the world of drag. But recently, Ru made statements I disagree with,” she replied. “Unfortunat­ely, it won’t be the first or last time we will hear a woman can’t do something a man can. I’m out to change that.”

Exploring -- and eventually embracing -- her trans identity through the art of drag, 39- yearold Peppermint continues to blaze trails.

Last year, she hit a high note after becoming the first trans woman to originate a principal role on Broadway in The Go- Go’s- inspired musical Head Over Heels, and following on from an appearance in Pose, she has just been cast as a transgende­r pastor in American comedy drama God Friended Me.

More recently, she hosted the GLAAD gala in San Francisco, and revved up for Jag Race, a collaborat­ion between Attitude and Jaguar where she put the pedal to the metal against fellow drag queens.

Raising awareness for trans rights and increased visibility, while looking fi erce, our Inspiratio­n Award winner really is like a breath of fresh air.


 ??  ?? NOVEMBER 2019 Words
Thomas Stichbury Photograph­y Markus Bidaux
NOVEMBER 2019 Words Thomas Stichbury Photograph­y Markus Bidaux

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom