For Gay Pride Month, Billboard asked numerous pop culture luminaries to write "love letters" to the LGBTQ community. Below, the top 4 finalists from RuPaul's Drag Race season 10 share theirs. Read more Pride Month love letters here.
I’ve always felt a deep connection to the LGBTQ+ community so it’s truly been such a wonderful thing to be accepted into said community with such open arms at such a young age. I luckily get to live every day like it is Pride, but this June I am reminded how lucky I am to celebrate this incredible facet the LGBTQ+ experience with all the incredible friends, fans, and family I’ve met over the past year. I’ve certainly had quite possibly one the most exciting years my life and it’s been a pleasure to be a part such a strong community that celebrates me when I’m excelling and uplifts me when I’m down.
I am constantly reminded how grateful I am to those queens who’ve come before me and those I will continue to inspire. Pride month is so motivating as a drag performer because it gives me a designated opportunity to really reflect on and appreciate all those who have been pivotal to the success the LGBTQ+ experience for me. From drag mentors to legends New York City nightlife to the beautiful fans I have the gift meeting every night, I have a never ending list thank you notes I would need to write. I hope that this Pride season, my dedication to entertaining and inspiring the community will begin to be an example my gratitude and respect for those who have helped shape me as a person, a performer, and as a fellow member the community.
To my beloved LGBTQ community, what a wonderful time it is to be alive, aloud, and surrounded by our loved ones. Let this joyous pride season be one rooted not only in self-love and awareness, but also in inclusion and acceptance. Let us shower members every community with the adoration and respect that we so eagerly seek from our own critics and oppressors. Let us not be so proud in our own skin, that was in turn, unknowingly alienate those that are not like us. Let us welcome with open arms, every breathing entity from every dark corner every community regardless race, sex, age, gender, or any other imaginary line separation. This pride season, let us invite the light to come reclaim everything the darkness has stolen from us all.
– Asia O'Hara
I remember the reason I started doing drag. I had a fake ID at 16 and started going to the local gay bar. It was the only place I ever felt truly myself. I would go to the bar and I was immediately attracted to helping the queens. To be a part it, I would drive girls to gigs and help them dress. I liked it because it reminded me helping my sisters get ready for school or picture day. It was fun for me to help make people beautiful, because I didn’t feel beautiful myself.
When I turned 18, the fake ID I had been using expired and I had to decide what I was going to do to go back. Everyone knew me as someone other than who was on my actual ID. I got this grand idea to dress in Drag and go out. It worked! So every time I would go out, I would go out in drag. I felt so liberated, like I could conquer anything, and would just dance all night with the friends I was making.
As I continued to go out, one the local girls convinced me to do the talent show. I was so nervous that I carried my purse on stage with me. I performed “Pedestal” by Fergie. Too nervous to move or even lip sync, the crowd began to scream and support me anyway. Go Eureka! You can do it! It’s ok, girl, we love you!
In that moment, for the first time in my life, I felt beautiful. I have never turned back. Now, I live happy and blessed with Body Positivity and Self Love.
I love you for seeing the beauty in me when I could not.
Pride is more than just a month celebration, it’s a lifestyle.
Some have called me brave, others a “role model”. I am nothing more than a gay man trying to live my truest life as my most genuine self. I am more than ecstatic to know my truth is an inspiration to others. As a member the LGBTQ community, it is so important for us to stand confident and strong together in a world that can sometimes be less than welcoming.
But here we are, in an age acceptance I never thought I would witness in my lifetime. We still have SO MUCH work to do in equality, but can we take a moment to celebrate our victories?! After decades hard work, failures, challenges, and plenty tears…we won our biggest battle yet; equality in marriage. A moment I never thought I would see.
Victories like this make me proud to be different. Proud to be part a community that HAS to fight for things others may take for granted. Nothing feels better in life than the pride that comes from hard work and diligence leading to victory.
We have many obstacles to overcome, but we are always ready to face them.
We have strength. We have love. We have PRIDE <3
– Kameron Michaels