The performer behind Katya, from RuPaul’s Drag Race, made his hiatus official.
Brian McCook, his real name, has deleted his Twitter account.
This week, the beloved star of season 7 and All Stars 2, said he was taking a break from drag for his mental health.
He said: ‘I’m not dying because I want to live.’
McCook has previously opened up about struggling with staying sober from drugs and alcohol.
Katya announces hiatus: ‘I’m not dying because I want to live.’
‘I’m telling you this with a sense of urgency. I’m not dying. Let me tell you the truth. I’m not dying, I want to live,’ in an open letter said entirely in French, he said on Instagram Live.
‘I’m a drug addict, but I’m sober. Today, and yesterday. And before. But I need to take a vacation, because I want to survive like Gloria Gaynor.’
During the live video, he said why he was taking a break from drag: ‘I’m a language student first, an artist second, a drag queen third. Health is the most important thing for me.’
He added: ‘I need to take a vacation because I’m tired, I’m exhausted, my brain doesn’t work anymore, because of the drugs, because of all the gigs, I believe you will understand.
‘We’ll see, and I wish you a good day. Bye bye.’
Drag queens send support
Veteran drag queen Jackie Beat posted a tweet in support of McCook. This was also shared by McCook’s on-screen partner Trixie Mattel.
‘Sending out nothing but LOVE today for my baby girl Katya who made the brave decision to put the well-being of herself before that of a fictional character,’ they said.
‘I am sad that we are not going on tour together, but this is far more important. Kisses, chess & matryoshka…’
Pearl, who appeared on the show with McCook,said he wanted to send him ‘good vibes’.
‘I can’t speak for Katya but I love and support her and can relate to her acknowledging the deterioration of her mental health,’ he said.
Pearl on her Instagram account talked about Katya’s situation. And his own story about RPDR. Send love and good vibes for @katya_zamo ????✨ we love you pic.twitter.com/QJnTyR9RyW
— memes of pearl (@pearlbabee) January 17, 2018
Pearl: ‘I can relate to her acknowledging the deterioration of her mental health.’
‘It ain’t for everybody. The audience only sees a fraction of what goes into it: wigs, dresses, sparkly things, good lighting, laughter, meeting celebrities, follows and likes, capturing ourselves in times where we’re at our best, being on stage.
‘But lemme tell ya, there’s a long road from home to, the stage and it can be dark and bleak and nobody is there to hold your hand through it or at least warn you.
‘It’s not just dealing with the death of your hair and skin, relationships, personal space and the lack of sleep (which is all very important on its own), what is a bit harder to explain is why you have to add extra hours to your makeup routine because at some point you’ll need to stop and cry for no particular reason.
‘It’s hard to describe the feeling when you realize that every single gig you have ever done, you have been touched inappropriately or sexually harassed one way or another and you think you have to just deal with it in order to do your job.’
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