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‘It’s so stigmatised,’ says RuPaul’s Drag Race star Q revealing HIV diagnosis

Q, a 26-year-old drag performer hailing from Kansas City, Missouri, who has notably participated in RuPaul’s Drag Race, is courageously sharing her journey after being diagnosed as HIV-positive. Through her story, Q is advocating for greater representation of queer individuals within the healthcare sector.

In a video clip featured in season 16 of the show, Q expressed, “I am doing something very sentimental for the runway today. It’s inspired by the generation of gay people that we lost to the AIDS epidemic in the ’80s. So it’s really, really special to me.”

Opening up about the challenges she confronted following her diagnosis, Q recounted grappling with feelings of isolation and confusion. “When I first got my diagnosis I felt really lost and I felt, like, super alone,” she shared. “I tested positive when I was 24. I was mostly scared about how I was going to be treated by family and people around me who don’t understand it because it is so stigmatised.”

Recalling the hurtful encounters she endured, Q revealed, “You know, people have said really awful and nasty things to me and almost de-humanising me.”

Highlighting the significance of having empathetic and understanding healthcare providers, Q underscored the necessity of greater representation of queer individuals within the healthcare profession. “It’s crazy how much people with HIV have to deal with. I’ve been treated differently by like, health care providers,” she remarked. “I think it’s so important to have queer people in health care. You really feel that difference in care between those providers.”

In response, drag queen Plane Jane humorously chimed in, “Do you hear that gay people? Stop doing drag and start going to medical school!”


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