Cherry Valentine, former “RuPaul’s Drag Race” candidate, dies at 28

Former participant of the program. RuPaul’s Drag Race UKGeorge Ward, known as Cherry Valentine, has died at the age of 28.

28-year-old British drag artist George Ward, better known as Cherry Valentine, died on Sunday, his family said in a statement.

“It is with the greatest pain and deepest sadness that we inform you that our George, Cherry Valentine, has tragically passed away.”

“This is going to have a profound impact on many people, and we understand that there is no easy way to announce it,” continued the statement, which did not specify the cause of the young man’s death.

“Gypsy queen”

George Ward had participated in season 2 of the British version of RuPaul’s Drag Race, on the air since December 2020, being among the 12 contestants of the program. A contest won by Lawrence Chaney.

Growing up in Durham, a county in the northeast of England, within the traveling community, George Ward had also produced a documentary on BBC Three, the channel that broadcasts RuPaul’s Drag Race UK -, entitled Cherry Valentine: Gypsy Queen and Proud (Cherry Valentine: gypsy queen and proud).

I hoped, through this very personal documentary, to change the perception of young gay men in the travel community.

“Being a drag artist is about self-expression, it’s confidence, it’s power. It’s throwing a big middle finger in this binary world, it’s going from black and white to color.”

psychiatric nurse

George Ward, who had created this drag alter ego, Cherry Valentine, described as “dark”, “gothic” and “glamorous”, also worked as a psychiatric nurse.

“Drag is my passion and my dream, but I love being a nurse, it’s something I will always do,” she said on the Ru Paul show.

In the heart of the Covid pandemic, when filming on the show was suspended, George Ward had teamed up with a vaccination center in Manchester to make his contribution.

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