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  • Writer's pictureDemi Lynch

Drag Race Winner Willow Pill Is Breaking Boundaries As A Trans Disabled Queen



When Willow Pill walked into the WerkRoom in her wedged flip-flops and 'ANGLE' top, she immediately won the hearts of all the judges, all the other contestants and all Drag Race viewers.


From day one she brought us the CHARISMA, UNIQUENESS, NERVE and TALENT - but her appearance on the show also broke boundaries.


In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Willow spoke about the significance of representing marginalised communities as winner of Season 14 of RuPaul's Drag Race.


"What's important to me is that I'm representing people who are disabled and chronically ill. That's not something we see on television — especially not on reality television, because people who are ill and disabled are amazing, fun, nasty, and catty, and they're everything anyone else can be, times 25." - Willow Pill

The 27 year old has been very open about her battle with Cystinosis, a rare genetic disorder that cause cystines to accumulate in the body's tissue and organs.


Willow spoke to People Magazine about the many side effects of her illness including muscle deterioration, blurred vision and constant exhaustion.


"I take a lot of medications - a little over 20 pills a day," she says, "and while they're supposed to make you feel better, taking that many pills every day growing up, they make you feel sick. It's for the greater good, so that your body functions long term, but you feel ill through your daily life. It's not fun, really."

Since appearing on the award winning reality series, Willow has been praised for not only her talents but also for her transparency about living with a disability.


"I wanted to go into the show being really honest about what was happening in my life because I hate that sometimes we make a sugar-coated experience or an inspirational story out of sick people's lives when often, there's just pain there that needs to be felt and heard," she says, "one of the most gratifying parts of the experience of Drag Race has been hearing from people who tell me how important my time on the show has meant to them - that's kind of priceless."



As a trans femme queen, Willow says the process of transitioning and undergoing hormone therapy is much more difficult as someone living with a chronic illness.


"Being in and out of the hospital, in and out of surgery — being poked, being prodded and having your body made into a medical object — that causes pain and trauma that ends up developing oftentimes into PTSD. For me, it's been a lot of anxiety, a lot of nightmares. It's a very, very real and difficult thing to go through, and I'm honestly still in the process of kind of working through a lot of trauma that's happened to my body through medicalisation. So because my body's already been so medicalised, I don't love the idea of furthering that medicalisation of my body. It's something I'm still really deciding. Estrogen, particularly, can cause a lot of increase of side effects of the medications I'm currently on and I'm already on a lot, so if I do choose to begin Estrogen, that's something I'll have to take very, very slowly."



So what's next for the Drag Race Superstar?!?


Our reigning queen told Entertainment Weekly that she plans on focusing her time on acting, "absurd sketches and music," and making her art more "disgusting" and "dirty."


"For this year right now, I want to travel all over the world and meet people that have made me have the career that I have now," she says.


We cannot wait to see what's next for Willow Pill.


 

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