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For those of you who have watched RuPaul’s Drag Race since it’s inception, then you’re well aware of how competing on the series can either help or hurt your drag career in regards to a small group of the toxic fan base.

Once drag went mainstream, it went from being a creative and fun art form allowing queens a way to express themselves, to being overtaken by racist, misogynistic internet trolls who will attack competitors if one drag queen is fighting with/or doing better than their favorite queen.

We could be here all day discussing the show’s issues with transphobia, and the racist rhetoric concocted by the show’s producers and some of the younger fans, who act as if they are the ambassadors of all things drag, but we’ll save that story for another day. Some queens have continued to weather though the storm, while some have justifiably ended their careers due to their problematic actions (Tyra Sanchez and most recently Sherry Pie).

So how surprised was I when I learned that Jaremi Carey, who most may know as Phi Phi O’ Hara announced on Twitter that she will stop performing in drag.

“I’ve been wanting to stop performing in drag for years now,” he says “When my hobby became a job … it kind of killed it for me. I love the reaction and response I get for creating amazing pieces and characters and with drag becoming mainstream it has created a pool of ‘experts’ who have no experience in the art than entering their Netflix login, and [in my opinion] soured the fun for me.”

“I don’t plan on stopping drag,” Carey continued. “I will continue to create and ONLY attend LARGE tours or conventions in drag which will be announced when those are scheduled. But as far as performing at bars, brunches, or events of similar caliber, I will be stopping all together soon. I haven’t decided when exactly but so far the plan is 2020 will be the last year, maybe sooner.”

It’s unfortunate when people’s opinion of you can kill what you love. Years after appearing on season 4 and All Stars 2 she’s still getting hate from late-blooming fans, but I sincerely hope that Jaremi can find his love for drag again because he’s way too talented to let it all go to waste. Sometimes you need to step back and take a look at the blank canvas in order to get inspired again.

I get asked daily about “Phi Phi”… here are my thoughts and plans. -xxoo J — Hi! I’m Jaremi! (@PhiPhiOhara) May 23, 2020
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