Dehumanising the Drag Performer

My favourite drag performer needs some time, and they should take all the time they need. Yekaterina Petrovna Zamolodchikova (Екатерина Петро́вна Замоло́дчикова), the stage name of Brian McCook, recently took to social media to tell how they plan to take time off and postpone their extensive tour schedule; anyone who is familiar with Katya even superficially could surmise in the 3+ years since her first season on RuPaul’s Drag Race she’s been flat to the mat (to use the colloquial term).

Following this there has been an incredible outpouring of support from fans and performers alike voicing their support of Katya.

This said, there is volumes of tweets asking for the current condition of the television program The Trixie and Katya Show, starring McCook’s friend (and woman) Trixie Mattel / Brian Firkus, as though the fact of McCook’s needing personal time was the equivalent of asking for a tissue…
Facebook comments flooding with phrases like ‘im so gutted’; ‘been looking forward to this for so long’; ‘good thing we didn’t get tickets!’; emoticons expressing discontent.

Catch yourself the fuck on.

These performers are humans, with their own mental, physical and personal struggles. They’re not walking waxwork painted dolls only good for a song and a picture or a night of entertainment.
(this suggestion arguably applicable to celebrity culture on a whole, the theatre industry, etc., etc.)

McCook’s brilliantly worded statement unapologetically epitomises the situation:

‘Hi, my name is not Katya. I am Brian, a recovering drug addict and workaholic.’

I’m positive that a lot of people follow suit when I wish McCook the most of peace and respite, and wish them time to recover. I also hope that some people take the time to look beyond the drag queen in future, and see a person underneath the breast plates, pounds of makeup and sickening dance moves.

M x

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