In an Instagram post, RuPaul’s Drag Race season 7 contestant Miss Fame has revealed the use of they/them pronouns moving forward. The reigning look queen, having made unprecedented inroads in the fashion and beauty space, Fame had revealed in 2017 that they were gender fluid.
“This is not a mask!” they wrote in the caption of a photo uploaded to instagram. “I am femme, I am an artist. I will not be tokenized. I am not your gay best friend, nor a check mark on your list to look inclusive … my time is valuable. This is not drag.” For the post they hashtagged Miss Fame, Kurtis (their given name), Queer, Artist, They/Them, and Human.
In now expired Instagram stories which they have preserved on their Twitter account, they went further.
“I am not an accessory,” they wrote. “My time is valuable. Compensation is respect. As such, I identify as they/them, so we don’t forget, I’m a human and not wearing a mask to appease or entertain you. My presence is authentic.”
"If this was based off nepotism, you'd be eager to utilize my talent and my beauty," they continued. "You'd be happy to invest in my lineage and I'd be celebrated without apology. You'd be grateful I could fit the sample, that I am elegant and look good on camera ... that I am a trailblazer ... that I have a voice and a message ... be aware, it's all seen!
"All those assets exist within me, take me as I am, as I am more than enough."
Fame has spoken many times about the injustices and inequalities that occur in the fashion, beauty, and entertainment industries when queer and/or trans talent is involved. Those conversations generally have dealt with compensation, and being tokenized for performative inclusion and diversity’s sake. Still, their body of work has been awe-inspiring.
Over the past two years, the model has done projects with American Vogue, Vogue Portugal, Vogue Thailand, Vogue Japan, Vogue Taiwan, Vogue Spain, and Vogue Paris. This comes in addition to work for other magazines like CR Fashion Book and LOVE Magazine while cultivating close, ongoing relationships with brands like Iris Van Herpen, Christian Dior, and Jean Paul Gaultier among others. They’ve also worked with beauty brands like Charlotte Tillsbury, Marc Jacobs Beauty, and L’Oreal. This standing in the fashion and beauty industries, while being represented by the modeling agencies Supreme and IMG Models Paris, is unprecedented for someone who is known to the world as a drag artist.
But Fame, of course hasn’t just worked for others, they’ve been hard at work on their own brand as well. Miss Fame Beauty made history when it launched in 2018, as at the time the model and business owner was considered a drag queen — consequentially, the brand was the first beauty brand launched by a drag queen. Last year, the company added to that initial line-up of six products with more.