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New Drag Race Host Is a Legendary Activist Living With HIV

New Drag Race Host Is a Legendary Activist Living With HIV

<p>New <em>Drag Race</em> Host Is a Legendary Activist Living With HIV</p>

The Drag Race Germany star is adding their name to the growing list of celebs who are unashamed of their status.

The Drag Race universe is expanding.

Over the past 15 years, RuPaul's Drag Race has touched almost every part of the globe. The massively successful series is streamed worldwide and increasingly has been launching franchises in a variety of countries. One of the latest iterations, sees an activist living with HIV take up some of the hosting duties for the series.

Barbie Breakout, most known globally for a gruesome video protest she staged against Russia in 2013, is one of two announced hosts for the new show. She previously also appeared on shows like The Diva In Me and Shopping Queen. On Drag Race Germany, she will be joined by Gianni Jovanovic. The show will air beginning in September.

The 45-year-old who has been living with HIV for 18 years, will be the latest in a long history of queens involved with the franchise living with HIV. In RuPaul's Drag Race season 1, Ongina came out in an emotional moment after winning a MAC Viva Glam challenge. She has been followed by others like Trinity K Bonet as well as Charity Kase in RuPaul's Drag Race U.K RuPaul's Drag Race U.K. and Enorma Jan on Drag Race Italia. But Barbie marks the first as a host.

The performer, author, and podcaster toldGQ Germany in 2021 that she knew form a very young age that she was different, coming out as gay at the age of 13. She also lived her young life as a girl for a time and has eventually come to identify as genderfluid, using drag as a part of her identity. She pursued a daytime career as a hairstylist and makeup artist (sometimes for celebrities) in addition to developing a career in drag, DJing at various nightclubs.

In 2013, Barbie Breakout gained international recognition sewing her mouth together with a needle and thread as a protest to Russian anti-gay "propaganda" laws. The video she recorded titled "Open Your Mouth" went viral prompting international media coverage.

“The pain I felt inside when I had to see in the media what is happening in Russia was greater than the physical pain of the needle," she told Die Welt. "My partner held the camera while I did it. But he couldn’t look." It wasn't her first time submitting her body to violence for a cause: in another interview she revealed that in 2000, when the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were denied entrance to a gay fetish space to give away condoms and spread news of safer sex, she staged a stunt where she was beaten and raped by skinheads to draw attention to the moment.

"I insisted that it had to be real to get the message across," she told Vawn and Boon in 2018. "Apparently my physical safety goes out the window when I feel strongly about something."

Over the past five years, Barbie Breakout has been speaking out about living with HIV on interviews and in other media. She believes it doesn't have enough visibility.

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