AIDS/HIV | Drag Queens | News | Television

Courageous Drag Queen Reveals Secret on RuPaul's Drag Race



On last night's episode of RuPaul's Drag Race, contestant Ongina made a startling revelation at the close of a competition in which the contestants were required to do a screen test for Viva Glam MAC cosmetics.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

There's also an interview with Ongina at Feast of Fools.

And World of Wonder has a behind-the-scenes clip with an extended interview with Ongina after her breakdown.

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. DCOMICS summed it up brilliantly..seriously people on this blog are just hateful..makes me sad. And if any of you actually new the purpose of the challenge and what Viva Glam/MAC does for AIDS charities, you might understand why Ongina felt compelled to talk about it. Do some research people and stop with all the hating and judging!

    Posted by: DLD LA | Feb 24, 2009 4:57:54 PM

  2. Not shocking or startling. It is really too bad there is still so much shame, shame causes so many more to become infected. I frequently think that because the statistics say a certain percentage are positive. When I am with a group of friends I know statistically, some of them must be positive, but no one is as far as I know. Cancer survivors are so proud to be alive as survivors. It is really too bad that so many with HIV/AIDS stay silent. Ongina is courageous, bravo to her. I cannot be certain I would be open if I was positive. I hope I never find out! People who feel that someone who is positive is a loser fails at being a human.

    @Jessie: I thought the same thing when this happened on the show last night.

    What was shocking was Rebecca getting to sachay and stay.Though I think it will be Ongina and Nina as the final two.

    Posted by: Critifur | Feb 24, 2009 5:08:10 PM

  3. It's crazy how when something truly "real" happens on these shows you can tell immediately. Ongina was incredibly brave to break script and speak honestly about HIV. It was really powerful. Thanks Ru (and thanks Logo I guess) for a great show.

    Posted by: Reggie | Feb 24, 2009 5:12:11 PM

  4. Judge not is the best rule to follow.

    Also, being kind can go a long way and one's own experience may be vastly different than someone else's.

    Please people, if we don't love each other and support each other, the straight bigots win and we are NOTHING but second class perverts who have no self control or morals.

    Don't let them win.

    Stop being a fuckin' bitch. This ain't the movies and it ain't funny.

    All those down on the reality shows, well, these people have talent they are showcasing, it's the producers of the show that want to highlight the drama and look, it has us talking today.

    Posted by: Bobby | Feb 24, 2009 5:24:11 PM

  5. " I would never say this to anyone who was poz, of course,"

    Of course, you did just that. It doesn't take a brain trust to figure out that some readers of this blog are poz.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Feb 24, 2009 5:49:02 PM

  6. It is sad how cruel and lacking in compassion some of you people are. Personally, for me this moment was inspiring and she does have courage. As someone who was recently diagnosed as being HIV positive I can't imagine telling others as openly as was done on television. For me it was like having an openly gay character on tv for the first time.

    Some of you prove well enough the stigma that those with HIV may have. Your treatment of your fellow man places us in yet another closet. You are harsh. You have no idea the circumstances to which anyone else has become infected. I would expect such treatment from homophobes, but not me fellow gay.

    Posted by: sad | Feb 24, 2009 5:59:21 PM

  7. This is only "startling" if you don't have HIV. Otherwise, calling this "startling" is pretty offensive. HIV is no longer a death sentence. Being shocked by this, or thinking it's necessarily some kind of horrific handicap of certain doom, is a very outdated way of thinking about this. You sort of encouraged readers to view this condition as a freak show. I expected more out of Towleroad than an editorial gasp.

    If Ongina isn't playing the pity card, that would be startling. And reading some of the despicable "she deserves it" comments from the heartless fuckwits in the comments--that's startling, too. Am I the only Towleroad reader who's living in 2009, not 1989?

    Posted by: Bakeley | Feb 24, 2009 6:02:34 PM

  8. Wow, there is a lot of self hate here.

    Posted by: tofer david | Feb 24, 2009 6:03:32 PM

  9. I know that reality shows showcase the ridiculous, but I think it's unfair to take the rash generalization and apply it to Ongina's "breakdown." Have any of you not become so overwhelmed with emotion that you could not control it? It appears as though that's what happened...and how could it not? She won a competition that showcased compassion and awareness of a disease that she has and hadn't made known to her family, and I imagine, many other people. I can't blame her for breaking down and spilling her guts, and I do think it was brave, especially considering all the negative feedback here--from her own!!

    Posted by: chris | Feb 24, 2009 6:05:03 PM

  10. Most of the comments on this blog (especially the early ones from Patrick NYC) disgust me.

    With suicide rates among young LGBT people at epidemic proportions, comments as vitriolic and judgmental as most of these have no place on a website where said people come to for an escape from the rest of the world.

    Absolutely appalling.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Feb 24, 2009 6:43:40 PM

  11. Ongina, if you read this I want you to know that I think you are quite heroic. Yes, we all make mistakes, but we cannot change that. What we can do is face the truth and our lives with courage, perseverance and joy. Which is precisely what you are doing. I applaud you and wish you all the success and happiness that comes your way!

    Posted by: Joseph | Feb 24, 2009 7:23:36 PM

  12. I hope some of u fags die a horrible death! u guys are assholes!!! who r u to fucking judge her!

    Posted by: Dakota | Feb 24, 2009 8:09:11 PM

  13. Finding out you are positive is like coming out gay all over again? I mean I'm sure the reactions from others must be the same, but saying something like that certainly ignores the glaring truth regarding choice here. That said, I think people on here who refer to those who get infected as "stupid" is pretty intolerant and unnecessary. I am currently negative, but I cannot say that I have not made mistakes and known there was a very real possibility I could have been infected. If you have no, congratulations on being perfect. I won't judge someone who falters and has the unfortunate luck of paying for it by becoming HIV positive. I do not really understand why Ongina felt it necessary at that moment to announce that she is positive - it seemed...deliberate I suppose, less genuine. I don't commend her for it because personally I think if you are positive, that is your business. Then again, I don't think being positive is something shameful. My only concern is that while you can certainly live your life to the fullest as a positive person, there are truly horrific things to deal with when you are. Let's not glam it up or glorify it. It isnt' something to be ashamed of, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it's something to be proud of either.

    Posted by: Sam | Feb 24, 2009 8:36:29 PM

  14. Hey Ongina, rock on and don't let those bitter people here get to you. I think the show and you and everyone on the show are awesome!!!

    Posted by: galore | Feb 24, 2009 8:46:38 PM

  15. Ongina, you're my grrl!

    Love you, hope you win, and thanks for being such a great role model for girly-boys everywhere :)

    And to the bile-filled haters (I'm looking at YOU, Non-Shocked and Patrick NYC), kindly sashay AWAY.

    Posted by: Feral | Feb 24, 2009 9:11:01 PM

  16. What is up with ALL THE HATE? Don't we get it enough from the non-gay communities already?

    Enough with the self-loathing.

    Posted by: JEZ | Feb 25, 2009 8:36:41 AM

  17. Exposing one's sero-status in the manner that Ongina did, crying and breaking down after "living with HIV for the past 2 years," does not come off as courageous. How many of her fellow participants are HIV and willing to let their talent and performances do the talking. If he really wants to be an influential spokesperson for this cause he will buck up and stop being a crybaby. This kind of exploitation really pisses me off! I'm just as compassionate as the next person about this fucking disease but people on the subway who disclose serostatus to elicit sympathy are no different than Ongina. There are many of positive gay men out here who get up every day and go to work and get on with it, I suggest Ongina do the same.

    Posted by: tooboot | Feb 25, 2009 9:40:17 AM

  18. Hey Patrick

    I wasn't talking about you specifically and thanks for your well wishes. I was mostly referring to the building gay census on the gay corner of the internet that if you seroconvert in this day and age, you're a fool who deserves to be buried 6 feet under. I've seen too many average gay/bi me on the net, with their images and and names to prove they are indeed real, play with the ideal of seperating poz people for negs. It scares me. If gay men think this way, what does the rest of the public think? I'm afraid someone in the GOP is going to wonder the same thing and act on it.

    Posted by: DCOMICS | Feb 25, 2009 12:45:16 PM

  19. Sam said
    "Finding out you are positive is like coming out gay all over again?"

    Let me be more frank. Remember being the only one who knew you were gay and having conflicting feelings thinking everyone else knew and didn't know at the same time? Thats what being "closeted poz" is like. I found out my test results early in a busy day and went about doing my business shell shocked thinking everyone from my boss, to the cashier, to the woman who opened the door for me to the guy in the next to me all knew.

    Weird day.

    I won't lie. I am ashamed. I spent weeks having sporatic moments where I'd tell myself what a fucktard fool I was. But I'm trying to get passed it one day at a time so I can live the rest of my life.

    Posted by: DCOMICS | Feb 25, 2009 12:54:16 PM

  20. Well being ashamed of making a mistake is fine. Being ashamed every day for something that you cannot change is useless. So stop it. You're not "stupid" for making the mistake that got you where you are. You're human. For those smart enough to avoid that mistake, fantastic for them. But sympathy and kindness go a long way to being a decent human being and some comments on here make me think people need to check themselves. No one is perfect and sure, we have all the knowledge to avoid bad things...shit happens. Life isn't just about being perfect or not making mistakes or being safe. It's about having a little fucking understanding that people make mistakes, falter or make bad judgment calls that they pay for. Piling on by calling them stupid doesn't really help.

    Posted by: Sam | Feb 25, 2009 2:39:20 PM

  21. i <3 her, she's a Filipino!

    Posted by: HatchettBlind | Feb 25, 2009 2:59:21 PM

  22. OMG Ongina is like one of my Favorites on the show, I hope she wins the compition, this show is soo intertaining, omg that lipsing fight between Jade and Rebecca was so hillarious.

    Posted by: lee | Feb 25, 2009 3:27:24 PM

  23. BUT anyone and everyone who talks about their HIV status is courageous. You're warning people to be careful, and you're encouraging those who are "positive" to be positive about going on with life.

    How the hell did this thread turn so serious? I only like making jokes on the blogs more cussin' motha' fuckas out.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Feb 25, 2009 4:02:30 PM

  24. Ongina, you rock! Drag Race is awesome and is helping perpetrate a more positive image of drag culture, all you haters should LAY OFF.

    RuPaul is the most successful drag queen of all time, I can't wait to see her when she comes here to Seattle!!

    Posted by: Cabs | Feb 25, 2009 6:32:17 PM

  25. When you have HIV you don't just get over it. It never leaves you. You are reminded that you have the disease even if you are not on medication. You worry that today could be the day you get sick or that you have to go on meds and will the meds kill you slowly over time. You wonder what HIV is doing inside your body. You wonder what havoc is being wretched. You read the reports about the deteriorating effect HIV has on metacognition and the brain. What will meds do to my liver? You wonder what would happen if your colleagues find out. Will they be judgemental like the people on this blog? Even though you're careful you fear ever being in a situation where you might infect someone else. You wonder if the advice you receive from your doctor is the best thing you should do.

    Getting HIV has nothing to do with how smart you think you are or how stupid you are.

    I topped someone once unprotected after the condom broke. Was it stupid. Sure. I guess you're only smart if you have never had unprotected sex. I am sure you always use a dental damn when you have oral sex too.

    Posted by: sad | Feb 25, 2009 6:49:51 PM

  26. « | 1 2 3 »

Post a comment


« «Activists Plan 'Buttars-palooza' Rally on Utah Capitol's South Lawn« «