Drag Race star slams ‘scary’ fan behaviour as they say ‘gay fame’ has left them ‘traumatised’

A still of RuPaul from RuPaul's Drag Race wearing a green patterned dress and blonde wig.

Former RuPaul’s Drag Race finalist Pearl has spoken out about the lasting impact of Drag Race fame, and condemned fans who have “stalked” and “gotten physical” with her.

Pearl, 33, was a fan favourite contestant on Drag Race season seven back in 2015, but has since moved away from the show’s spotlight. 

While the star still uploads some drag content on social media, largely focused around drag characters she has conceived away from ‘Pearl’, she has yet to return for an All Stars season and has not toured as Pearl for some time.

She instead uses her social media profiles to share images of her impressive design work, travels, and glamper van renovations.

Over the weekend (11 May), the content creator addressed fan demands for her to tour as Pearl again, and opened up about her incredibly difficult time in the Drag Race limelight.

“This is dramatic but I’m actually traumatized from traveling/gay fame. Tbh I’ve realized there’s something about me that like triggers people. It’s led to a lot of scary and unpredictable behavior that idk how to navigate,” Pearl wrote.

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“Can’t tell you how many times ppl have thrown a drink on me, groped me, stolen from me, tried to pull my wig off, gotten physical with me, followed me etc. I’ve had stalkers,” she revealed.

Pearl explained that she’s been forced to share dressing rooms with “drag queens who act like they have no idea” who she is, and has had harrowing experiences with some show organisers. 

“I’ve helped many friends succeed and have been stabbed in the back in the most random ways. Oh and there’s an endless barrage of lies and vitriol about me online,” she continued, writing that her private photos have been “leaked” and her body has been “criticised”.

Reflecting on how fame has changed her as a person, she explained that she has become “mistrusting and isolating” in the nine years since season seven aired.

Drag Race star Pearl faces backlash over blackface photos.
Drag Race star Pearl. (Getty)

During Pearl’s run on the show, she was told she needed to come out of her shell, with RuPaul insinuating she lacked personality.

The interaction led to one of the most awkward and infamous run-ins between RuPaul and a contestant, with RuPaul staring Pearl down in the workroom. In response, Pearl quipped: “Do I have something on my face?”

In 2018, Pearl addressed the incident on YouTube series Hey Qween, in which she said that RuPaul once told her: “Nothing you say matters unless that camera is rolling.”

The Drag Race fandom ran with the quote, and it was used to push a narrative of “beef” between Pearl and the show. The remark also led the fandom to question how other Drag Race queens are treated by the legendary host.

Pearl and RuPaul
There was noticeable tension between Pearl and RuPaul on Drag Race season seven. (YouTube)

Pearl further explained that wishes she could “undo” her interview with Hey Kween, as the quote “became [her] identity”. However, she also reiterated she is “no victim” and now lives “the most peaceful and fulfilling life” away from the Drag Race world.

After her candid post, Pearl’s comment section was flooded with fans and fellow Drag Race stars sending her well-wishes.

“I’ll never understand the full scope of what you have been through, as of course you’ve been in the ring longer than me… but i can relate to several sentiments, and i just wish i could give you a hug,” wrote season 15 star Salina EsTitties.

“Thank you for being transparent and honest. Your real fans or I should say, the people you don’t know that care about your well being, WE are here for you! I love to see you sharing your absolutely normal life,” one person commented.

A third added, “I am sorry that you’ve experienced this and wish you love and light,” as a fourth wrote: “Stepping away from that toxic spotlight that any artist craves at first, is admirable.”