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HomeNationalTraveler Pride addresses the death of trailblazing drag racing star Cherry Valentine ...

Traveler Pride addresses the death of trailblazing drag racing star Cherry Valentine FGN News

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Traveler Pride attributed “much of the success and growth” of the support group and campaign over the past year to Drag Race UK’s Cherry Valentine. (BBC)

Traveler Pride paid a moving tribute to Cherry Valentine, remembering the Drag Race United Kingdom the star’s “dynamic and genuine love and care”.

On Friday (September 23), it was announced that the drag performer – whose real name was George Ward – tragically passed away on Sunday (September 18). Ward was only 28 years old.

Several drag race stars, RuPaul and fans reminded Ward for their work as a mental health nurse and advocate breaking down barriers when talking about growing up LGBTQ+ in the Traveler community.

Traveler Pride, a group made up of LGBTQ+ travelers advocating for the rights of the intersectional community, expressed the group’s “indescribable” sadness at news of Ward’s death on Twitter.

“I just woke up to the news that [Cherry Valentine] (our George) passed away this weekend,” Traveler Pride wrote.

“Indescribably sad. We will be releasing a full statement in the coming days. George’s vibrant and genuine love and care was so nurturing and we are beyond grateful to have called him a friend.

In a later post, the band said they were “still regrouping their thoughts” following the tragic news, feeling “still numb and off-kilter”.

“I attribute much of Traveler Pride’s success and growth over the past year to Cherry Valentine,” the band said.

“Being open about the drag race and then later on film, huge impact. We will always be grateful.”

Tyler Hatwell, founder of Traveler Pride, added“I can’t overstate how adorable George was. His spirit is to be treasured.

Ward qualified as a mental health nurse before appearing in the second series of Drag Race United Kingdom. They returned to work in the NHS when production on the show was temporarily halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Ward felt “so privileged” to help those in need.

After competing in the drag contest, Ward launched a successful television career and presented the BBC documentary Cherry Valentine: proud gypsy queen. The documentary follows Ward revisiting their upbringing and discussing being queer and being part of the traveler community.

Cherry Valentine’s relatives have launched a fundraiser to organize a public vigil in honor of the Drag Race United Kingdom the star’s lasting legacy. The country aims to raise £10,000 for the vigil which will be organized in conjunction with Ward’s family and loved ones.

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