The debut season of Canada's Drag Race is drawing to a close this week. We've seen 12 drag performers compete for the first-ever title of Canada's First Drag Superstar and a cash prize of $100,000 CAD (that's about $70,000 USD for those that are counting) and a year of holiday stays with Hilton. Throughout it all we've seen some amazing lip syncs, spot-on runway looks, and more than a few underwear-clad boys. Yes, we're talking about the Pit Crew.
The Pit Crew in the North made headlines earlier this season when they debuted Mina Gerges, a member that wasn't the ab-toting body type the series is known for. Now, another member of the Crew is speaking out about he hopes to use the platform he's built for himself that has been fortified by the show.
In an as-told-to feature for Plus magazine, Travis L'Henaff spoke about how he hopes to use the privileges he has been afforded to help others who are living with HIV. This comes as a result of all the help that he received after first learning his status.
"The first thing I did after I found out my status — after I told my partner — was I reached out to every person living with HIV that I was close with," L'Henaff who is also a model and nightlife personality in Canada told me in a story for Plus. "They helped me get some of the best help in the country. That ended up being another thing where I was sort of like, something has to come of this when I’m ready. I have to pay this forward." Though he wasn't ready to pay it forward then, in October 2018, a year later he was.
In November 2019, L'Henaff, who is also known as Frankie on social media and in nightlife, appeared in a U=U campaign in Canada alongside his partner Gabriel McCrae who is the founder and CEO of Coyote Jocks Inc. "People living with HIV on effective treatment can't pass it on to a partner," the ad read. In an Instagram post, L'Henaff revealed to his followers that he was living with HIV but that he was surrounded by "a supportive partner/family and tons of friends who are openly positive that were incredible sources of knowledge."
"Here is me being my most vulnerable and sharing something you don’t need to know in hopes that it contributes to the expansion of knowledge and understanding on the matter and fights the stigma," he wrote at the time. And while fighting stigma was important, so was showing himself as a point of contact to any of his followers who might need information.
"Part of me doing the campaign was so I could post it publicly and let people know that I am willing to go with them to their appointments if they need — and I’ve done so for people in Toronto," he told Plus, going on to tell me that fans could DM him with any concerns. "I’m also just there to give advice, and I’ll ask other people I know if there’s something I don’t know. I want that to be a part of my life moving forward. It’s just helpful to have someone in your corner who knows a little bit when you’re trying to navigate the healthcare system."