A'Whora Interview

Fashion icon and break out star from RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, A’Whora is a world class drag artist, performer and fashion designer in her own right. She continues to tour across the world with the legendary KlubKids. Recent TV appearances include BBC3’s Glow Up for Comic Relief, MTV’s Celebrity Ex On The Beach, ITV2’s Celebrity Karaoke Club and C4 Digital’s Vipee’s.

A’Whora, who was dubbed the Fashion Queen of series two for her jaw-dropping runway looks also joined Lawrence, Tayce and Bimini in the iconic United Kingdolls. Before appearing on the show, A’Whora studied at the London College of Fashion and launched her own label Le’Boy George. A’Whora has also modelled for Vogue Italia and designed a sustainable collection for H&M.

What advice would you give to someone who is struggling to embrace their LGBTQ+ identity? And if you don’t mind, please could you share some insights about your personal journey in discovering and expressing your amazing, authentic self?

Rupaul said it best herself, if you can’t love yourself how the hell are you gonna love somebody else! The key to embracing who you are is to allow yourself to fall in love with every layer that makes you the person you are, this can be a long process, but you have to do it to be happy in yourself. There’s no point fighting it, at the end of the day you’d be losing an endless battle. You were born this way and that’s just how it is. Some people are born with boring tendencies (what a sad life Jane) but some people are born for greatness, some people are born to make ice cream, and some of us are born to be gay! Embrace it, accept it, live it and love it!

What do you think is the most pressing issue facing the LGBTQ+ community today, and what can people do to address it?

There are many pressing issues to the LGBTQ+ community. I’d love to think different but personally I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Being fully accepted as a community is at the heart of the problem and I don’t think we have been fully embraced. You can go back and forth for weeks, months, years with arguing this, bring up countless attacks and homophobic issues that have arisen. From my side, to see maximum change I think we need to protect ourselves as a community and come together as much as possible. As a queer community, we need to take a hard look at ourself and be the best versions of us to ensure we can be the prime representation of who we are. We need to stop fighting each other and tearing one another down. I’m all up for a Kiki and a read as lighthearted fun but I think there is a lot of judgement and jealousy that happiness internally in our community that needs to stop, perhaps this can be helped by fully accepting ourselves so we don’t feel threatened by the people in the same boat as us. We need to be the strongest community we can be, show up, show support, shout loud and proud.

How do you think allies can best support the LGBTQ+ community, both during Pride month and throughout the year?

There are so many ways allies can support, the big one is by paying attention. Make sure you research and keep up to date and current LGBTQ+ affairs. Knowledge is power, when you know what’s going on you can comment and question with integrity. Aside from knowledge, as an ally it’s so important to be present at LGBTQ+ events, show your support and help spread queer joy throughout the whole year.

What advice would you give to young LGBTQ+ people who are looking for role models and inspiration within the community?

It is the people and the moments that changed queer culture that should be seen as role models and inspiration. Sometimes our perception of role models get mixed up in glitter, rhinestones and rainbows. If you can, do your research, get a book, look into our queer history, it’s actually a lot more interesting than the sugar coated shows. I’d recommend Good As You, 30 years of Gay Britain by Paul Flynn.

What are your hopes for the future of the LGBTQ+ community? And what do you think still needs to be achieved in terms of equality and acceptance?

In all honesty, my hopes is just that we can all live freely. I just want us to be able to get on with our lives without continuously being bashed, shamed and shouted at in the street whilst I’m just trying to strut to Beyoncé with my matcha iced latte. I want to live in a world that I can get out of a taxi, walk past a construction site on my way to a shoot and have the builders smile rather than, laugh, heckle and give bombastic side eye. I have every hope that this day will come, might not be in my lifetime but I hope and look forward to living authentic without caution.