Drag queen George Ward who featured in Ru Paul’s Drag Race as Cherry Valentine dies aged 28

Drag performer and psychological well being nurse George Ward, recognized by their stage identify Cherry Valentine, has died on the age of 28, their household have introduced.

George, who died on Sunday, appeared on the second sequence of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, earlier than launching a TV profession and fronting the BBC documentary Gypsy Queen And Proud.

A press release from their household stated: ‘It’s with essentially the most heart-wrenching and deepest unhappiness to tell you that our George – Cherry Valentine – has tragically handed away.

‘It will come as a profound shock to most individuals and we perceive there isn’t a simple approach for this to be introduced.

Drag performer George Ward, recognized by their stage identify Cherry Valentine, has died on the age of 28, their household have introduced

‘As his household, we’re nonetheless processing his dying and our lives won’t ever be the identical.

‘We perceive how a lot he’s cherished and what number of lives he has impressed and touched. All we ask is on your endurance and your prayers on this time. We love you Georgie.’

George, who recognized as gender-fluid, was raised in Darlington, County Durham as a part of the Traveller neighborhood and certified as a psychological well being nurse in 2015, earlier than beginning their profession in drag.

In December 2020, George was introduced as certainly one of 12 contestants competing within the second sequence of the UK model of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Of their introductory video for the present, they described their Cherry Valentine alter-ego as ‘glamour’, ‘darkish’ and ‘gothic’.

George, who died on Sunday, appeared on the second series of RuPaul's Drag Race UK, before launching a TV career and fronting the BBC documentary Gypsy Queen And Proud

George, who died on Sunday, appeared on the second sequence of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, earlier than launching a TV profession and fronting the BBC documentary Gypsy Queen And Proud

They stated their work as a nurse had ‘put me in that proper place to have the ability to perceive folks a bit extra.

‘In case you are a drag queen you’re working with folks. And to know folks I believe you go the additional mile.’

When filming of the present needed to pause mid-season because of the pandemic, George  began working shifts in a vaccination centre in Manchester. 

George had stated: ‘Covid was such an enormous shock to everybody and I felt, ‘Effectively, I am a professional nurse I should be doing one thing.’

‘Drag is my ardour and my dream however I do love being a nurse – it is one thing I will all the time do.’

George said their work as a nurse had 'put me in that right position to be able to understand people a bit more'

George stated their work as a nurse had ‘put me in that proper place to have the ability to perceive folks a bit extra’ 

Pictured: George as Cherry Valentine with Ru Paul's Drag Race Season 2 winner Lawrence Chaney and fellow contestant Asttina Mandella

Pictured: George as Cherry Valentine with Ru Paul’s Drag Race Season 2 winner Lawrence Chaney and fellow contestant Asttina Mandella

Additionally they carried out publicly and appeared in music movies by artists reminiscent of Charli XCX. 

After showing on the present, George joined with the BBC to supply a documentary exploring their Traveller heritage.

Within the 2022 particular, known as Gypsy Queen And Proud, they revisited the neighborhood he left aged 18.

George opened up concerning the difficulties of rising up as a queer individual within the Gypsy neighborhood within the eye-opening documentary. 

They grew up as a part of Romany Traveller neighborhood in Darlington, however left on the age of 18 after receiving a unfavourable response from their household after they got here out as homosexual. 

Pictured: Chery Valentine appearing in a Charlie XCX music video with fellow contestants from Ru Paul's Drag Race UK

Pictured: Chery Valentine showing in a Charlie XCX music video with fellow contestants from Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK

When filming of the show had to pause mid-season due to the pandemic, George started working shifts in a vaccination centre in Manchester

When filming of the present needed to pause mid-season because of the pandemic, George began working shifts in a vaccination centre in Manchester

The drag artist revealed they struggled to view their sexuality in a optimistic gentle after being spat on, bodily assaulted and harassed with homophobic slurs in school. 

Showing on BBC Three documentary Gypsy Queen and Proud, George revealed that they not have a relationship with the Traveller neighborhood or members of their prolonged household. 

‘My expertise rising up as a queer individual in that neighborhood actually affected my total life,’ stated George.  

‘I continually have this stress on me of attempting to be good on a regular basis. I’ve constructed this picture of who I ought to be and it isn’t who I’m deep down. The sensation of being somebody I do not need to be, Cherry would not really feel that as a lot as I do’.

After their stint on Drag Race UK, George revealed that they had acquired messages on social media with racist, anti-Traveller slurs.

In January 2021, George stated: ‘On the minute I am very fluid in my gender… and rising up wasn’t simple.

‘There have been instances the place I left house for a bit and simply had a little bit of a meltdown.

‘Within the Traveller neighborhood, there’s numerous stress on younger folks to marry, to quiet down, to have a household and to get a job to assist the household.

In January 2021, George said: 'At the minute I'm very fluid in my gender… and growing up wasn't easy'

In January 2021, George stated: ‘On the minute I am very fluid in my gender… and rising up wasn’t simple’

George was raised in Darlington, County Durham as part of the Traveller community and qualified as a mental health nurse in 2015, before starting their career in drag

George was raised in Darlington, County Durham as a part of the Traveller neighborhood and certified as a psychological well being nurse in 2015, earlier than beginning their profession in drag

‘I believe that is why I used to lie a lot and say I had girlfriends.’

In Gypsy Queen and Proud faculty George stated they ‘felt totally different’, and confronted harassment from bullies who would verbally and bodily abuse them. 

As George obtained older, they felt stress to evolve to gender roles inside the neighborhood and determined to jot down their mother and father a letter revealing they had been gay. 

‘There was rather a lot anticipated of me once I was 16 or 17 and I did not know the way I wanted to behave. I used to be sick of pretending’, they stated. 

‘I felt like I used to be weak as a result of I could not fake, I could not simply slot in. Why was I totally different? I hated myself for it.

As George got older, they felt pressure to conform to gender roles within the community and decided to write their parents a letter revealing they were homosexual

As George obtained older, they felt stress to evolve to gender roles inside the neighborhood and determined to jot down their mother and father a letter revealing they had been gay

George had briefly left house after writing the letter, and says they had been left suicidal after opening up about their sexuality.  

After shifting away at 18, George met extra like minded folks and developed their drag alter-ego Cherry, calling their stint on Drag Race a ‘large eyeopener’.

‘I used to be round so many individuals who accepted themselves much more than I felt I did, stated George. ‘Being round individuals who accepted themselves a bit extra made me realise I’ve a bit extra alternative than I felt I did.’ 

Within the 2021 documentary George stated they now had a very good relationship with their mum and pa, and had begun talking with their brother – insisting one of the best ways to make progress was ‘educating folks on issues they do not perceive’. 

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