This article contains spoilers for this week’s instalment of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.
Speaking to competitor Kitty Scott Claus in the work room this week, Charity – known for her surreal style of drag – was asked what got her started in the artform.
Charity then explained that she got into drag as a way of dealing with “dark times” that she’d been through in her late teens.
“I moved to London when I was 17 and then when I was 18 I was having a good time and I was on the scene,” she said.
“But then I ended up contracting HIV and it was kind of really hard for me to process that at 18. I was still a child, do you know what I mean?
“Six years on I’m still living with the after effects of this one night where this guy took advantage of me.”
Charity also shared that she has received abusive messages on dating apps in the past when she has disclosed her status, adding: “The trauma of getting diagnosed positive really comes from the stigma of HIV and it’s really sad that’s such a thing."
“I take three tablets a day and I live a normal life expectancy, and I am undetectable, that means that the virus cannot be passed on from me,” she said in a confessional. “These are major, major steps towards controlling the virus.”
After the episode debuted, Charity received a wave of support from viewers who applauded her for helping destigmatise HIV:
Charity was also praised by the organisation the Terrence Higgins Trust, who tweeted: “It’s amazing to see @thecharitykase using her platform on @dragraceukbbc to educate people on the reality of HIV today.
“It’s so important to know the facts on HIV and challenge attitudes towards the virus that are stuck in the 1980s. HIV has changed. Tell Everyone.”
After the episode aired, Charity wrote on Instagram: “Thank you to @dragraceukbbc for the opportunity to share my story and to @thtorguk for all of their support and work they do.
“I wanted to open up on this platform to hopefully educate and help some people watching. The best way to combat stigma is through education.”
Thursday night’s instalment saw the impromptu exit of Victoria Scone, who sustained a knee injury during the first episode of the series, and was forced to bow out early on medical grounds.
Victoria made history as the first cisgender woman to compete on any series of Drag Race, and it’s expected she’ll make a return if Drag Race UK is commissioned for a fourth season.
At the end of the episode, Veronica Green was sent home after a lip sync against Vanity Milan.
Veronica previously competed on the second season of Drag Race UK but, like Victoria, had to leave the show halfway through when she contracted Covid-19.
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK is available to watch now on BBC Three.