Source: Pearl Liaison/Instagram

'Drag Race' Star Pearl Explains Touring Hiatus: 'I'm Traumatized'

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 3 MIN.

Answering fan questions about whether she will tour again, "Drag Race" star Pearl listed episodes of harassment and abuse she has faced, and declared that "gay fame" has left her "traumatized" and made her "into a mistrusting and isolating person..."

"i've realized there's something about me that like triggers people," Pearl, whose name out of drag is Matthew James Lent, said in a lengthy Instagram post.

In the post, Pearl decried the "scary and unpredictable behavior" of fans, the way in which trolls have subjected her to "an endless barrage of lies and vitriol" online, and how "tabloids... have written about my downfall as if I'm broadly famous."

"can't tell you how many times ppl have thrown a drink on me, groped me, stolen from me, tried to pull my wig off, gotten physical with me, followed me etc.," the drag star related.

"i've had stalkers," she added, before going on to say, "i've had show handlers sexually harass me, not pay me, show up wasted or go MIA. my managers were like insane, developed feelings for me, sabotaged me, stolen tens of thousands, and so much worse."

"i've helped many friends succeed and have been stabbed in the back in the most random ways," the post continued, before going on to say that "ppl leak private photos, criticize every inch of my body and seem to like want me d3ad lol."

"ppl really have schadenfreude," Pearl added. "no matter what i do, ppl will literally slit my thr*at at any misstep ☺️ with pleasure."

Pearl cited a famous interview with the talk program "Hey Kween" in which she claimed that during her time on RuPaul's Drag Race," Season 7, RuPaul himself dissed her with, "Nothing you say matters unless that camera is rolling."

"honestly if i could undo anything it would be that hey kween interview," Pearl reflected. "imo, i think this fan base thrives on drama and sadly that headline was sensationalized to the point it became my identity."

Her experiences are unlike those of other "Drag Race" alumni, Pearl claimed, saying that her experiences have prompted her to "ask... myself, what is it about me that is so provocative?"

Added the drag entertainer: "soo i've had to ask myself maybe this isn't for me lol?"

Fans flocked to the comments section to reassure Pearl of their devotion.

"Do we miss Pearl the Drag Queen? Sure," one person posted. "But we love seeing who YOU are now. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️"

"You always stood out - and perhaps that made you a target for some people who are uncomfortable straying from 'the norm,'" another chimed in, "but to me it's a beautiful thing."

"Just know there's tons of people out there who adore you for your artistry but I feel immense respect for your decision and openness about wanting to be more private," a third said.

One person asked if Pearl "still [has] a passion/want[s] to do drag?" to which Pearl gave an answer that was just as revealing as her original post, if not more so:

"i have a visceral reaction when i put on makeup and drag," Pearl answered. "hives, high blood pressure, imposter syndrome 🤗"

The answer to the question Pearl set out to address seems to be that her fans shouldn't expect a tour any time soon.

But Pearl still keeps her Insta page filled with pics of herself in and out of drag. Check out a few of her looks below.

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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