‘Canada’s Drag Race’ Star Ilona Verley Allegedly Told to Conceal Trans Identity
As we know, the conclusion of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 6 crowned it’s first ever transgender queen. Kylie Sonique Love also joins a long list of other trans performers who’ve appeared on the series through the years. Peppermint, Carmen Carrera, Jiggly Caliente, Gigi Goode, and Gottmik are among those who have transitioned. Unfortunately, Canada’s Drag Race star Ilona Verley now claims she was told not to discuss her trans identity on the series.
Ilona Verley appeared on the first season of the Canadian Drag Race spin-off and placed sixth. She is known for being the first Indigenous, Two-Spirit, and Los Angeles-based queen on the series. On Friday, Ilona opened up in a series of tweets about her experience on the show.
Ilona Verley Takes Drag Race Experience to Twitter
“I invested into a franchise I thought was going to foster my talent and include me in their family, however with the timing of my season I got very little opportunity and ended up a discarded asset,” she wrote.
Ilona then went on to thank her fans for their support. However, she claims the network went out of their way to harm her well-being on the show. Following her initial post, the performer accused Canada’s Drag Race producers of instructing her not to speak on her trans identity while filming.
The queen also revealed she was prevented from working on OnlyFans during her time on the show. This added additional pressure to the queen, as she was expected to deliver elevated looks week after week.
“I felt like I couldn’t go get a day job because I would look like a failure,” Ilona added in a statement. “I never wanted to be a failed reality TV star, but the pandemic and not being able to work in my field made it so hard mentally to just survive and figure out what to do to stay a float.”
The Queen on Canada’s Drag Race
Prior to her appearance on Canada’s Drag Race, the queen initially auditioned for the eleventh and twelfth seasons of the U.S. version. On the Canadian series, Ilona placed in the bottom two on three occasions and was eliminated in the seventh episode.
On the show, the queen is remembered for her look in the series finale. The ensemble blended a First Nations jingle dress in signature pastel colors with red hand prints. The statement piece paid honor and tribute to Indigenous women.
In the past, Ilona has described their gender identity as fluid and in flux. She currently uses she/her/they/them pronouns.
“I think for me right now, the best way to describe who I am right now in this moment in nonbinary and gender fluid,” she said on the LGBTQ&A podcast.