RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Cherry Valentine has died aged 28
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Cherry Valentine has died aged 28

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Cherry Valentine has died aged 28

RuPaul’s Drag Race in the UK Star Cherry Valentine has died aged just 28, her family have revealed.

Valentine, born George Ward, died on Sunday and will be remembered as an ambassador for the Gypsy, Roma and Traveler (GRT) community.

Cherry Valentine poses during Pride In Manchester 2021 on August 27, 2021 in Manchester, England. The “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” star died on Sunday at the age of 28.
Shirlaine Forrest/Getty Images Europe

The drag queen’s family announced the death in a statement. “It is with the greatest and deepest sadness that I inform you that our George – Cherry Valentine – has tragically passed away.

“This will come as a profound shock to most people and we understand that there is no easy way for this to be announced. »

The statement continued: “As a family we are still processing his death and our lives will never be the same.

“We understand how loved he is and how many lives he has inspired and touched. All we ask is your patience and prayers at this time. We love you Georgia. »

BBC Three, which broadcasts reality show Drag in the UK, also released a statement saying: “We are devastated by the death of George, who we also knew as Cherry Valentine.”

Fiona Campbell, controller of BBC Three, added: “We are all shocked and heartbroken to hear of the death of George, known to many as Cherry Valentine.

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“A fan favorite and an inspiration to many, I was privileged to work with him at BBC Three.

“He will be greatly missed by his many fans and friends. My deepest condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time. »

the drag race The producer of World of Wonder also released a posthumous statement.

“We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of George Ward aka Cherry Valentine,” he began.

“As an artist, nurse and activist, Cherry will always remain a beloved member of ours the drag race family.

“Cherry’s love and irresistibly infectious laugh touched the lives of so many. Deepest condolences to his family and friends. »

Throne Events, which Valentine co-founded and served as corporate director, set up a vigil fundraising page and an online condolence book where people can leave a message for the drag queen.

Valentine appeared in the second season of RuPaul’s Drag Race in the UK and was the second queen eliminated.

In that short time, Valentine has been recognized for raising awareness of the GRT community and mental health (MH) issues.

The drag queen had trained as an HD nurse in 2015 and when RuPaul’s Drag Race in the UK was forced to shut down production due to the emerging coronavirus pandemic, Valentine decided to return to work as a nurse.

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“I can’t stay at home. I have to do something,” Valentine said subway in 2021.

“I ended up going back to [nursing], working in neuro for several months. It was high-intensity neuro for adults, it was [treating patients with] brain damage and brain damage.

“It was a weird crossover because I’m obviously trained in mental health. During the pandemic, there was a lot of focus on physical health, so it was about Covid, which was a bit of a shock. We did it until we got back to filming again. »

After he played RuPaul’s Drag Race in the UKValentine presented a documentary on BBC Three entitled Cherry Valentine: Gypsy Queen and proud.

In the 2022 documentary, Valentine returned to the Traveler community she left when she was 18 and met other GRT people who are LGBTQ.

Valentine revealed why she wanted to make the documentary and why she was so open about her Gypsy identity on RuPaul’s Drag Race in the UK.

“My own experiences of watching the GRT community on TV have generally been quite negative or stereotypical,” she said. Dizzy in 2022.

“When we talked about it the drag race, the producers didn’t push me… I just thought, ‘Why don’t I talk about this? I have this platform and people in the community where I come from usually don’t have it.

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“I say in every interview that visibility is the most important thing and all I want to do is be visible to others, so I hope they feel more positive about it. »

Following the news of Valentine’s death, people were quick to share their tributes on Twitter.

“God, this is really awful about Cherry Valentine. Someone who worked in the NHS during the pandemic, he was proud of his gypsy roots and looked phenomenal while doing it all. At only 28, this is horribly tragic,” wrote one fan on Twitter.

Another wrote: “We are saddened to learn this morning of his untimely death #dragraceuk Cherry Valentine star. Their work for the NHS during the pandemic and their openness to growing as gay in the traveling community was inspiring. »

And a third commented: “I am saddened by the death of Cherry Valentine. As a queer gypsy from the UK, it felt amazing to see her on TV. »

Valentine became the third star of the drag race franchise to die unexpectedly.

The first was Sahara Davenport, who appeared in the second season of the American version of the series and died at the age of 27 of heart failure in 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.

At the time of her death, Davenport was in a long-term relationship with season three contestant Manila Luzon.

Chi Chi DeVayne died of complications from scleroderma and pneumonia in 2020 at the age of 34. The Queen of Louisiana participated in the eighth season of All Stars 3 before his death.

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