Drag queen Rosie Zinfandel on the powerful, personal reason she did a skydive in full drag

The image shows Rosie Zinfandel, a drag queen, skydiving. She is falling through the air and can be seen wearing full make-up and fake eyelashes.

Drag queen Rosie Zinfandel has just completed a skydive in full drag – and it’s all for a special and very personal reason. 

Jumping out of a plane is never an easy task, but doing so decked out in makeup and fake eyelashes is a different beast entirely. Even so, Rosie persevered – and it was all in memory of her aunt Annette, who died from cancer in 2017. 

Speaking to PinkNews, Rosie recalls how her aunt Annette was the first person she ever told she was gay. She was a powerful, vibrant force in Rosie’s life, and she’s still inspired by her memory to this day. 

In her final days, Annette was cared for in a hospice – which is what inspired Rosie to conquer her fears, and to do it in full drag. On Monday (19 June), she and six other drag queens – Crystal, Rhys Pieces, Scarlett Harlett, Kiki Snatch, Honey Foxx and Le Fil – jumped out of a plane to raise vital funds for the Princess Alice Hospice in Surrey. 

So far, they’ve raised more than £3,700 between them so others can get the care they need at the end of their lives.

“[Annette] was the first person I told just before she died that I’d started doing drag bits,” Rosie tells PinkNews after completing her skydive.

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Rosie Zinfandel as a child with her aunt Annette.
Rosie Zinfandel as a child with her aunt Annette. (Supplied)

“When she passed she left me some money and that was the means for me to get my first wigs and get my first really terrible Amazon makeup. So it was really thanks to her that I was able to get to this point,” she recalls.

“It was a full-circle moment of being able to do what I love in her memory.”

Needless to say, the skydive itself was terrifying and exhilarating in equal measure. On Monday morning, Rosie and her fellow drag queens were collected and driven to Salisbury. There, they set up their makeup stations in the common area and started getting ready.

“There were a lot of other skydivers taking quite a big interest in seven drag queens just painting in the middle of an airfield,” Rosie laughs.

Once they got on the plane, the fear started to creep in.

“We started ascending and we got quite high up to the point where I couldn’t look out the window anymore.

“But then someone said, ‘Oh we’re only at 3,000 feet’ when the goal was 10,000 feet. I think that’s when alarm bells started ringing!”

Rosie Zinfandel as she prepares to jump out of a plane.
Rosie Zinfandel as she prepares to jump out of a plane. (Supplied)

Rosie was third in the queue to jump out of the plane, and it wasn’t long before her turn came around.

“I’ve never fallen off of anything. I’ve never jumped off a cliff into water or anything like that so I’ve never experienced ground coming out you quite quick, so to go from having two feet firmly planted on the ground to sitting on the edge of a plane with my feet under it and my head back, it was just insanity. Absolute insanity.”

Thankfully, Rosie didn’t have much of a choice in the end when it came to actually jumping out of the plane.

“It’s not necessarily a jump – it’s more of a push!” She laughs. “And then suddenly you’re face down looking at all the gorgeous countryside landscape.

“Your mind can’t comprehend that it’s real. It really felt like I was in a really large painting with the countryside and a church in the distance and really gorgeous clouds all around me. It was the most surreal, magic visual I think you could ever, ever get.”

It was a terrifying experience, but Rosie is glad she and her fellow queens did it. She wants everyone to have access to the kind of care her aunt was given at the end of her life. 

“For the level of care and attentiveness that people receive and need in their end of life care, it’s hideously expensive,” Rosie explains.

“It costs a hospice £10 million each year to provide free, high-quality, special end-of-life care for people with life-limiting illness.

“I’ve seen firsthand how important end of life care is. It humanises the dying experience a bit rather than making it this untouchable, scary thing.

“It allows people to say their goodbyes and for those who are passing to be as comfortable as they can be.”

If you want to donate to Rosie’s cause, you can do so here.