Drag Race UK contestant Sister Sister has spoken out against the online abuse she has received since appearing on the BBC Three show.
In an essay for The Guardian, the Liverpool-based entertainer said this included “graphic” death threats.
“The toxic fandom have made themselves clear and my mental health has reached rock bottom,” she wrote.
Last week she became the seventh contestant to be eliminated from the UK version of the hit reality series.
Her departure came two weeks after an explosive argument with fellow drag queen A’Whora that sparked a wave on controversy on social media.
But the 32-year-old urged fans of the show to keep their comments in perspective.
“You don’t know the person behind the make-up, only what you are being sold,” she said.
“So, given the option of a fleeting interaction with somebody who provides increasingly needed entertainment during lockdown, why make it negative?” she asked.
She added: “It’s not so much the individual messages that have an impact – it’s the emotional toll on the recipient when they come in en masse. It’s a wall of hate.
“Without going into too much detail, one [post] that came from a blank profile described in graphic detail how they would like to see me die.
“What has to change in order for people to take their own online behaviour seriously?” she asked.
“Do we need yet another tragic reminder that people can be ground down over time? I really hope not.”
“I always considered myself a self-sufficient, robust Scouser but it seems even I have my limits.”
Discussing her experience on BBC Radio 5 Live on Monday, Sister Sister urged people to be more considerate online – particularly given the impact of the pandemic.
“The new normal is that we’re all talking online, so we have to really consider… how does this sound?,” she told host Naga Munchetty.
“One tweet that heavily criticises you is fine… it’s when the tone becomes a little too dark, and there’s thousands of them.”@sistersisterhun tells @TVNaga01 about the online abuse she received after appearing on @dragraceukbbc.
— BBC Radio 5 Live (@bbc5live) March 1, 2021
“The other person on the receiving end of this, what are they going to actually hear?
“We’re not talking in bars, we’re not exchanging face-to-face conversations, so a lot of the tweets we’re putting out are the equivalent of you just shouting one really solid opinion in someone’s face”.
Support over ‘toxic’ abuse
Since detailing her experience in The Guardian, numerous Drag Race stars have come out in support of Sister Sister, including Baga Chipz, BOA, Blu Hydrangea, Bimini Bon Boulash and Tayce.
I hope people that support me aren’t responsible for any of this. My message is to uplift others, not tear them down. Sister sister is a sweetheart and this is incredibly upsetting to read. Be kind to others. Words can hurt! https://t.co/PfgzKAqNGF
— BIMINI! (@biminibabes) February 21, 2021
Sending so much love 🥰💙
— Blu Hydrangea (@BluHydrangea_) February 21, 2021
The RuPaul’s Drag Race franchise, which rose to prominence in the US before the UK version launched in 2019, has a troubled history with online abuse.
Drag queens Asia O’Hara and Silky Nutmeg Ganache are among a number of former US contestants to have also revealed death threats.
Speaking to Gay Times in 2019, O’Hara said: “I think that the people who are in a position to influence should take some responsibility. These people have the power to influence a large number of people and they need to take that seriously.
“Those who are not affected by it are the ones who should be made accountable for the people who follow them spouting this negativity.”
Earlier this year, World of Wonder, the production company behind the franchise, ran a social media campaign promoting digital kindness with statements including “kindness is cool”.