Drag Queen Wears HIV+ Blood Splattered Tiara To Fight Stigma

Electra La Cnt wearing the tiara. Photo by Brad McClenaghan, via Facebook.
Electra La Cnt wearing the tiara. Photo by Brad McClenaghan, via Facebook.

Drag queen Electra La Cnt made a statement with her outfit at Belfast Pride Festival, but it had less to do with her eye catching dress and more to do with what was sitting atop her head: a tiara coated in blood from an HIV-positive donor. The message: stop the stigma.

Related: Are We About To See The End Of The Ban Against Gay And Bi Men Donating Blood?

The blood was taken from a consenting person by a qualified doctor. The blood was left to dry and then sprayed with a plastic sealant to prevent it from running in the rain.

“I’ve witnessed the abuse that HIV-positive friends of mine have received on online dating apps and the stigma is definitely still there,” Electra told The Huffington Post. “There’s confusion over how HIV is transmitted, which leads to assumptions, and hatred. Vangardist, an Austrian magazine, mixed HIV-positive blood with ink in a special HIVHeroes edition, and it inspired me to do something similar. It was bold, it was effective, but it was so meaningful. The message behind it was simple: fight the stigma.”

“I am fully aware that heterosexual HIV-positive individuals outweigh the number of HIV-positive homosexual people in the UK now,” Electra wrote on Facebook. “But in the light of the decision regarding the NHS funding PrEP, our community are once again labelled as sexual deviants amongst the media who regard it as a ‘gay disease’, and heterosexual HIV-positive individuals as innocent victims – we are all innocent victims. Please do not let this dilute the power of educating yourself and others on the irrational fears surrounding HIV transmission.”

Related: Logo Greenlights ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Season 9 On Heels Of Emmy Nomination

The donor has shared on Facebook a hateful message he received about donating the blood for the tiara, showing exactly why these sorts of bold actions are needed in the first place.

On a more supportive note, Electra’s performance on stage alongside fellow drag queens was shared by none other than RuPaul herself.

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  • Brian

    Frankly, this is just silly. Don’t drag queens have better things to do with their time? I know it’s boring in Belfast but this is ridiculous.

  • Masc Pride

    How gross and pointless. It also seems Electra has conveniently left out some of the “abuse” HIV+ people are also inflicting on others. Some of the behavior lots of HIV+ individuals participate in fuels stigma against them as well. And stigma is NOT someone declining to sleep with you because you have a communicable life-threatening virus!

    Using the argument that there are more heteros with HIV to prove it’s not a “gay disease” is intellectually dishonest. Heteros outnumber homosexuals by 96 percent (here in the U.S.), so of course there will be more heterosexual infections. However, last stats showed that gay men contribute a whopping 60+ percent of new infections despite being a mere 2 percent of the population, which means the virus embarrassingly more common among gay men.

  • Stache

    Masc Pride, please masc girl you’re the very one she’s talking about ie the irrational stigmatization. Whenever facts are brought to you it’s I don’t care it’s how I feel. All she’s doing it raising awareness.

    Once again you’re twisting the numbers. All she’s saying is that’s not just a gay disease which people in the UK apparently believe it is. Playing by your rules we could also say hetero’s get it more often. All I have to do is include places like Africa.

  • Brian


    Well, guess who creates the impression that AIDS is a “gay disease”? The gay community itself, of course!!!!

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