Northern Ireland ‘upside down’ on trans issues, says drag queen Blu Hydrangea
Northern Ireland’s top drag queen, Blu Hydrangea, has called the province “backward” when it comes to transgender issues.
Lu, AKA Joshua Cargill from Belfast, is Northern Ireland’s hottest drag performer and is best known for competing in the first series of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK in 2019.
Now competing in another edition of the hit global drag show on BBC Three, Blu has opened up about her struggles with gender identity and criticized the way gender issues are handled here.
She said: “In Northern Ireland it’s so backwards, you don’t learn these things, for me it’s the people on the show who have found themselves and been on the show with such well-educated people that made me realize that gender is such a spectrum.
“I don’t know where I come across it, but I know that I am neither a man nor a woman. I’m just somewhere in between.
Speaking on the latest episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK Versus the World, the 25-year-old queen also spoke about the struggles of balancing drag and identity.
She said, “The main thing I struggled with with drag was that I found out I was putting Blu first.
“She was this beautiful creature that I became and that was the only time I had confidence in my body,” adding that it sometimes caused her to experience “gender dysphoria.”
She further explained, “At one point I thought I was transgender, I didn’t understand what was wrong with me, why I wasn’t happy with myself.”
Blu said she spent years with “a lot of things floating around in my mind about my gender” only sharing her feelings with her partner and keeping it a secret from the rest of the world.
She went on to say that appearing on the first season of Drag Race UK helped her come to terms with her identity.
Shortly after the episode aired on Tuesday, she also took to Twitter to confirm which pronouns she prefers to use and when, posting, “My pronouns out of drag are He/They and in drag She/They .”
Fans and queens alike instantly flooded Blu with support, with fellow drag queen Choriza May writing, “I love you mi amor!”
The Drag Race UK star has also been praised on social media for using her platform to discuss issues around the topic of gender identity in Northern Ireland.
Gemma, a woman from Belfast, responded to her Twitter post saying: “This conversation about gender identity was so IMPORTANT, especially putting it (as she ALWAYS does) in a Northern Irish context.
“She’s right, we need much better sex, relationship AND GENDER education here.”
Earlier this month, Blu admitted she was shaken following a “scary” encounter with airport security in Morocco involving a giant pair of fake boobs.
She flew to the African country on tour with her band The Frock Destroyers last year and revealed her ordeal in an interview with another newspaper on February 1.
Admitting she hadn’t expected the ‘huge culture shock’, the Belfast native packed a ‘huge’ pair of silicone tits for her steamy performance in her hand luggage.
Upon arrival in Morocco, she said her ‘heart was in her throat’ as luggage was sent through X-ray scanners before being flagged for inspection.
She said, “Oh my God. So for the Frock Destroyers concert, I have to be pretty scorching in my outfit of choice.
“I had these huge silicone boobs that were too heavy for my suitcase because it was over so I put them in my carry-on.
“It didn’t really occur to me that it would have to go through open scanners by the security guards, so I basically sent in my massive t**s and of course they got flagged.”
With same-sex sexual activity in Morocco punishable by six months to three years in prison and a fine of up to 1,200 dirhams (£239), Blu was certainly taking a risk.
She continued, “The man opened the bag, squeezed a t*t, closed it and sent me on my way, but honestly, my heart was in my throat because we had a mad culture shock in Morocco.
“It’s a beautiful place but it was definitely like something out of a horror movie. It was crazy, we couldn’t walk in drag or flamboyant clothes so the person who booked us had to transfer us everywhere.
“Especially with (other queens) Baga Chipz and Divina de Campo, who has a mohawk and wears rainbow clothes, it was hardly low key, you know.”