RuPaul’s Drag Race in Great Britain Cherry Valentine star died at just 28, her family revealed.
Valentine, who was born George Ward, died on Sunday and is remembered as an ambassador for the Gypsy, Roma and Traveler Community (GRT).
The drag queen family announced their d*ath in a statement. “It is with the greatest painful and deepest sorrow that we inform you that our George – Cherry Valentine – died tragically.
“This will come as a deep shock to most people and we understand there is no easy way to announce it.”
The statement continued: “As his family, we are still processing his d*ath and our lives will never be the same.
“We understand how much he is loved and how many lives he has inspired and touched. All we ask is patience and prayers during this time. We love you Georgie.
BBC Three, which airs the reality show in the UK, also released a statement that read: “We are devastated by the departure of George, who we also know as Cherry Valentine.”
Fiona Campbell, controller of BBC Three, added: “We are all shocked and devastated to hear the news of the departure of George, known by many as Cherry Valentine.
“A fan favorite and an inspiration to so many, we’ve had the privilege of working with him at BBC Three.
“He will miss a lot of fans and friends. We express our deepest sympathy to his family and friends during this difficult time. “
Drag Race Producer World of Wonder also released a post-d*ath statement.
“We are devastated to hear about the departure of George Ward, aka Cherry Valentine,” he began.
“As an artist, nurse and activist, Cherry will always remain a beloved member of ours Drag Race family.
Cherry’s love and irresistibly contagious laugh have influenced the lives of so many people. We express our deepest condolences to her family and friends ”.
Throne Events, which Valentine co-founded and served as the company’s director, set up a vigilance fundraiser site and an online condolence book where people can leave a message for the drag queen.
Valentine appeared in the second season RuPaul’s Drag Race in Great Britain and was the second queen eliminated.
During this short period of time, Valentine has been recognized for raising awareness about the GRT community and mental health (MH) issues.
Drag queen was trained as MH nurse in 2015 and when RuPaul’s Drag Race in Great Britain was forced to stop production due to the looming coronavirus pandemic, Valentine decided to go back to work as a nurse.
“I just can’t sit at home. I have to do something, said Valentine subway in 2021.
“I ended up going back to [nursing]by working in a neuro for several months. It was a high intensity adult neuro, so it was [treating patients with] brain damage and brain injuries.
“It was a weird crossover because I am obviously trained in mental health. During the pandemic it was very focused on physical health so I dealt with Covid which was a bit of a shock. I was doing it until we went back shooting again. “
After starring RuPaul’s Drag Race in Great BritainValentine ran a documentary on BBC Three titled Cherry Valentine: The Gypsy Queen and the Proud.
In a 2022 documentary, Valentine returned to the traveler community she left at 18 and met other GRT people who are LGBTQ.
Valentine revealed why she wanted to make the documentary and why she spoke so openly about her gypsy identity RuPaul’s Drag Race in Great Britain.
“My own experience of watching the GRT community on TV was generally quite negative or stereotypical,” she said Dazed in 2022.
“When I was talking about it Drag Race, the producers didn’t tell me … I just thought, “Why wouldn’t I talk about it? I have this platform and people in my community usually don’t.
“In every interview I say that visibility is the most important thing and all I want is to be visible to other people so hopefully they feel more positive about it.”
Following the announcement of Valentine’s d*ath, people rushed to share their tributes on Twitter.
“God, how really awful Cherry Valentine is. Someone who worked for the NHS during the pandemic was proud of his gypsy roots and looked phenomenal doing it all. He was only 28 – how terribly tragic, “wrote one fan on Twitter.
Another wrote: “We are saddened to hear news of premature d*ath this morning #dragraceuk Cherry star Valentine’s Day. Their work for the NHS during the pandemic and their openness to growing up cheerful in the travel community was inspiring. ”
And a third commented, “Sad to see Cherry Valentine died. As a queer gypsy girl from the UK, it felt amazing seeing her on TV. “
Valentine has become the third star since Drag Race franchise to die unexpectedly.
The first was Sahara Davenport, who competed in the second season of the American version of the show and died at the age of 27 of heart failure in 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Davenport had a long-standing relationship with season three player Manila Luzon at the time of her d*ath.
Chi Chi DeVayne died of complications from scleroderma and pneumonia in 2020 at the age of 34. The Louisiana Queen competed in the eighth season All stars 3 before her d*ath.
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