When it comes to trailblazing moments in television, RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 14 has definitely been one of the most notable. With its initial premiere already featuring queens Kerri Colby and Kornbread “The Snack” Jeté as the show’s first openly transgender contestants, 2022’s search for America’s next drag superstar eventually turned into the show’s “most trans season yet” when competitors Jasmine Kennedie, Bosco and winner Willow Pill also came out as trans. And thus, “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Estrogen” was born.
So as the first digital healthcare provider dedicated to serving queer and trans people, FOLX Health decided to partner up with all five queens for its “SISTERHOOD” campaign earlier this year. Bringing their individual stories to the forefront in an effort to inspire, celebrate and empower other members of the LGBTQIA+ community, the collaboration also puts a spotlight on the platform’s FOLX HRT Care Fund: a partnership with the Black Trans Advocacy Condition (BTAC) that provides trans, nonbinary, intersex and other gender expansive people with the financial resources to access hormone replacement therapy.
And with this in mind, we gathered Kerri, Jasmine, Bosco and Willow together to talk about everything from working on the campaign, what it means to them and how it all relates to their own experiences — both inside and outside Drag Race. Read our Q&A with the queens, below.
What made you want to work on this particular campaign with FOLX?
Bosco: FOLX bribed me with attention and estrogen.
Jasmine: I was using FOLX for my own HRT before actually being asked to do it, so it felt like the perfect fit.
Kerri: What's so funny is that I did a campaign with FOLX when they first launched before my Drag Race journey. I think I was three months in on hormones at the time and they were so supportive. They were such an amazing team and even working on this recent campaign, I was able to reunite with all these amazing people who really helped me with one of my first times talking about my transition in a public setting. Being able to do this campaign now, I can look back and think back about [how far I’ve come].
What was it like to be amongst so many fellow history-makers on this season of Drag Race?
Bosco: “History-makers” seems so heavy for the situation, because for us it was just a bunch of girls being girls (and thems). I think we have a very special sisterhood. The experience of filming the race is insanely stressful on its own, but we were able to be there for each other in a very specific way. We are our own support group.
Willow: It was honestly just so comforting and lovely. I really love my trans family on the show. It made me feel comfortable to be myself publicly when that can be scary to do in front of a crowd of literally millions.
Jasmine: I have to say it’s a pretty uplifting and gratifying experience getting to see all that came out of Season 14, pun intended. But I think all of us watching the season back took pride in each other’s vulnerability in expressing one another’s authentic selves and sharing them with the world.
Kerri: None of us knew each other on a personal level before getting there and I was one of the only girls who walked into the competition fully aware of the fact that I was a trans woman. And at first, I felt like I was the only one. But during the show, the other girls just started to realize their own truths, so once we got to the finale, we’d had some time to grow and reflect on our experience together. So there really has been such a sisterhood between us.
Each one of us found such a pivotal piece of our personal transitions during our journeys on Drag Race and I think that none of us will ever forget how impactful that season was for each of us. Because most of what you see of us today, we found in some capacity together when we were at the summer camp called Drag Race. It’s like having friendship bracelets of the soul.
What does the campaign mean to you?
Bosco: Providing treatment and care to trans people who would have trouble accessing it otherwise is a life changing thing to do. There’s not a way to put into words how empowering it is to feel in control of your own gender journey.
Kerri: Health care is so important and mental health care is so important, but we never think about it in daily life. It’s just like, "I'm sad. I've been sad for a few weeks. There’s just a lot going on." And what we don't realize is that you don't have to feel that way or feel like you're waking up and struggling and battling.
Willow: Everyone deserves to feel comfortable and empowered in their gender identity, so helping promote the HRT Care Fund was a great way to get the word out there that there are options for people who might not always have access to trans health care.
Jasmine: I think the core tenets of this campaign genuinely describe what it is that trans people value the most in their lives: The euphoric feeling of coming to terms with your gender to finding a community that will accept [and] empower yourself, as well as others, in... your own transition. It encompasses all that I strive for.
Do you have any personal experiences that show why services like FOLX are so essential to the LBGTQIA+ community?
Bosco: I’m from a small town in the state of Montana. There’s not even a gay bar in the state. The idea of finding community, guidance or even trans peers in that kind of setting was impossible to me growing up. The advent of telehealth hormone providers is a lifesaving service and resource to those areas.
Willow: Me and many of my friends rely on medication and health services for trans people that keep us feeling stable and healthy and euphoric. It’s very difficult to operate in the world when you feel imbalanced physically and mentally, so everyone deserves access.
Jasmine: After coming out, I didn’t really know how to start my transition. With the help of FOLX they took all the questions I had running in my head and answered them. They helped with finding discounted hormone prices as well as helping me figure out what is the right path for my transition.
Kerri: FOLX does try and be like, "Okay, we understand that this is not easy. So we're here to help you to be your best and we want to make that as accessible as possible." And it's amazing to see people who really care. I think my biggest thing with FOLX, personally, was that it’s people that are providing for us. They’re people in the mental health and healthcare fields that are trans or queer people.
They’re just the people who really get it. But it's not that other people aren’t educated or qualified to understand, it's that the people at FOLX have lived through the same thing.
Welcome to "Sex with Sandra," a column by Sandra Song about the ever-changing face of sexuality. Whether it be spotlight features on sex work activists, deep dives into hyper-niche fetishes, or overviews on current legislation and policy, "Sex with Sandra" is dedicated to examining some of the biggest sex-related discussions happening on the internet right now.
Photos courtesy of Tragik
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