Sasha Velour has opened up about the moving inspiration behind her signature drag bald look.
The winner of this season of Ru Paul’s Drag Race has said that her late mother’s cancer diagnosis “inspired” her to own the look onstage.
“At first we thought, “Oh, it’ll be so much fun, we’ll go pick out wigs together.” But later on in her treatment she decided to shave all her hair off, and not be afraid of what it looked like, even though that had been her first instinct,” Velour said to The Guardian.
“That really inspired me, and I saw the beauty and glamour of being bald. I think that was very important for her confidence and for her health, to be able to see that side of it. I wanted to honour that with my representations of beauty through drag.”
Velour’s mother battled with the illness for five years before she passed away.
The star has said that she receives a great deal of support from her dad, who is not only part of her biological family, but her “chosen” family.
“My dad has recently become part of the family of Velour – in the drag community people talk about “chosen family” – which was part of my second childhood growing up as a drag queen,” she said in the interview.
“He was so supportive that he joined my chosen family as well as being part of my biological family. That is really beautiful, because not everyone has parents who want to be involved in their queer adult lives”
The drag queen, who is known for her intellectual status both on and off stage, also spoke of her time as a Fulbright scholar in Moscow in 2013, saying that is important that the world doesn’t “move backwards” in the fight for LGBT equality.
“It’s important we don’t move backwards – having lived in Russia I can see what that would look like,” said Velour.
“At the same time I was so inspired by how queer people in Russia do find ways to live their lives, how they get dressed in drag and have parties and laugh and have their inside culture. That’s inspiring, that even under horrible conditions they still find a way to live vibrant lives. That gave me hope in a small way,” Velour added.
Ru Paul’s Drag Race will be returning for its tenth season in Spring 2018.