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Cherry Valentine’s RuPaul’s DragCon booth to honour the late star

A booth and book of condolence will be dedicated to Cherry Valentine at RuPaul’s DragCon UK.

By Emily Maskell

Cherry Valentine
Cherry Valentine (Photo: Twitter @RuPaulsDragCon)

RuPaul’s DragCon UK has confirmed that Cherry Valentine’s booth will remain for the event in celebration of the late Drag Race alumni.

In a statement posted to social media (3 October), RuPaul’s DragCon UK shared their condolences for the late star describing her as “kind, generous and an inspiration” as well as sharing they are “deeply saddened by the untimely and tragic loss of Cherry Valentine.”

“RuPaul’s DragCon has always been a place where we all come together as a community. It is in that spirit that Cherry’s booth will remain at DragCon UK as a place where people can gather, reflect and celebrate her memory,” the statement continued.

There will also be a book of condolence for individuals to sign and a space for memorials available to those who want to pay their respects.

The drag queen, whose real name was George Ward, passed away on Sunday 18 September at 28 years old.

The DragCon statement is paired with the announcement that they are partnering with Switchboard, a UK LGBTQ+ helpline that provides a one-stop listening service for queer people, explaining: “They will also have a booth at DragCon and we also encourage everyone to learn more about their mission, talk to some of their volunteers, and to donate. We will match up the first £5,000 in donations.”

Valentine rose to prominence after appearing on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK season two.

Her fellow competitor and Queerpiphany star, Tayce, concluded the final night of her Assassination Tour with a tribute to Valentine.

Tayce lip-synced to Elaine Paige’s ‘Memory’ in a moving rendition that brought many fans to tears with the song being the track Tayce and Valentine lip-synced to, against each other, on the second episode of their season.

In memory of Valentine, Drag Race UK season four included an in-memoriam dedication to Valentine after the show’s credits.

Speaking to Attitude last year, the qualified mental health nurse said of working during the pandemic: “I’d be lying if I said it was fun. It was madness. Absolute madness. But I feel so privileged to be able to help, however which way I can.”

Valentine grew up in Darlington, County Durham, and presented the BBC documentary Cherry Valentine: Gypsy Queen and Proud, in which she explored her roots as a queer member of the Roma Traveller community.

There’s a dedicated page to remembering Cherry Valentine that can be found here.

Switchboard is a UK service available 10 am to 10 pm every day that can be reached on 0300 330 0630 or online.