In the newest episode of James St. James’ web series ‘Transformations,’ Ben, whose drag alter ego is BenDeLaCreme, reveals how being a character drag queen has helped him cope with depression.
James states, “You created the character of BenDeLaCreme as a way of coping with depression. Is that fair to say?,” to which Ben responds:
“I don’t know if it was the intent going into it – I’ve just kind of always loved drag queens who had really clear characters. That wound up kind of being a side effect, and the more I realized that having that positivity in this character helped me, the more positive that character became.
“You know, I think doing drag is about other people more than it’s about you. It’s about an audience. It’s about whoever you’re interacting with, and doing things for other people always makes you feel better.”
Ben also has advice for young kids who might be going through depression:
“You know, I’d say that it’s really important not to think that there is something wrong with you. It’s something that a lot of us struggle with. It’s something that many people have been through, and it’s not a signifier that you aren’t OK or you’re not going to be OK. Those moments can feel really dark and bad when you’re going through depression, but they’re not the full story. It’s like not all that you experience, it just feels like it when you’re there. The more you kind of let go and let yourself have your full emotional experience, the more you are going to allow yourself to get to those really good places.
“I mean, at this point in my life as an adult I have a great support system in place, but if you’re a younger person you don’t necessarily have that support system and there are resources. And I think it’s really important to know that you’re not alone and to know that you you can seek people out and that you don’t have to struggle by yourself.”
If you yourself are feeling depressed and need somebody to talk to, you can always call the free Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance hotline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255).
Watch the full ‘Transformations’ episode below.