EXCLUSIVE: Drag Race finalist and CBB winner Courtney Act, ‘Pride month is magical’ 🏳️‍🌈

Courtney shares her opinions on Pride, relaxed lockdown beauty regimes and what would happen if she ruled the world

Courtney Act

by Georgina Terry |
Updated

Courtney Act writes: June is Pride Month – and what a magical time of year this is. I’ve celebrated Pride all around the world, but it really is fabulous over here. I’ve performed throughout the UK, and each place is so special in its own way. In 2018, Trafalgar Square was epic.

My first Pride celebration was the Australian Gay Mardi Gras, an annual parade in Sydney, and I remember it being such an eye-opening experience. Growing up and going through puberty, the main feeling I felt was shame; shame that I didn’t feel right, I wasn’t feeling what other kids were feeling or that I didn’t always feel comfortable in my body.

Courtney Act Pride New York
Courtney with Deborah Cox, Richard Branson and Ginger Minj at Pride in New York, 2019 ©Getty

But Pride is literally – as you can tell by the title – the antidote to shame. It’s being so proud of who you are and reminding those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer that it’s OK to be that way. It’s now so big in the UK, and that’s brilliant, because even though it’s only one month a year, I think it seeps into people’s subconscious and breeds acceptance and understanding, helping to bring about real change.

We’ve come on leaps and bounds in the past five years in terms of accepting and celebrating the LGBTQ+ community, but until people can walk down every street not feeling self-conscious about how they look or whose hand they’re holding, we’ve got a way to go.

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‘I’m loving being more low maintenance’

Google searches show an increase in how-tos for at-home beauty treatments, and when lockdown first came into play, I realised it may be “Go to bed with Courtney (her stage name), wake up with Shane (Jenek).” That’s been the case, but I’m loving being a bit more low maintenance. I know a lot of women will be struggling without their fake tan, eyelashes, Botox, filler, nails and hair dye. But I hope lockdown has been a breath of fresh air and made people realise we don’t need all that all the time.

We have such high, sometimes unrealistic, beauty standards and I hope it’s made people feel more comfortable as they are naturally. I’ve realised I don’t need my monthly manis as much as I thought.

Don’t get me wrong – I think make-up, dressing up and grooming are brilliant and can be so powerful for people’s confidence. And I can’t wait to get my treatments – I’m looking forward to the night when I can look fabulous and go out with my friends.

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'If I ruled the world'

I’d make everyone live by the rule “Treat others how THEY would like to be treated” to encourage empathy and listening between people.

And I’d replace all animal products with plant-based products. I’m vegan – and there are such great alternatives.

This article appeared in Closer magazine in June 2020.

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