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Courtney Act reveals how they overcame the 'shame' which surrounded their sexuality

The ‘Drag Race’ superstar gets personal in Attitude’s Pride Heroes, in association with Taimi.

2020-06-26

Courtney Act has long embraced her sexual and gender identity – and arguably is one of the most articulate queens in herstory when it comes to speaking about those subjects.

Remember when she absolutely schooled Ann Widdecombe on Celebrity Big Brother?

However, that comfort and security hasn’t always been there as the drag superstar opened up about their struggles growing up as part of Attitude’s Pride Heroes, in association with Taimi.

Courtney, aka Shane Jenek, who identifies as gender fluid, explains that the path to acceptance was a long and winding one – it took her a while to sissy that walk.

“I was so full of shame about my identity that I didn’t even know that it was shame. I was just going about my life, living in this world, had kind of accepted that who I was would always be a second-class citizen,” they recall.

“It wasn’t until things started changing in the world,” Courtney continues. “I was living in the US and marriage equality passed and I just broke down in tears because I’d never realised what that sort of validation meant to me. I never thought I needed it. I never knew I needed it.”

“As I get older, I realise that who I am – who I’ve always been – is the person that I should be,” they add.

The 38-year-old Australian – who finished runner-up on season six of RuPaul’s Drag Race – goes on to praise her parents, singling out the time they came to see them perform at Mardi Gras in the early noughties.

“My dad looks a bit like a lost member of the Village People, he’s got a big moustache, so I was a bit worried about some leather daddy trying to touch up my dad on the dancefloor,” they exclaim. “Or worse, my dad trying to touch up some leather daddy on the dancefloor!”

We'd love to meet your dad, Court...

Fans can catch Courtney’s provocative, label-ripping new show ‘Fluid’ during its UK and European tour next spring.

Stonewall co-founder Michael Cashman, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, LGBTQ activist Bisi Alimi, TV host Michelle Visage and writer and performer Amrou Al-Kadhi also appear in Pride Heroes, supported by Taimi.

Watch on attitude.co.uk and YouTube.