Stop Asian Hate

Drag Race’s Rock M. Sakura reveals sex work past in wake of Atlanta killings

 

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Rock M. Sakura, a contestant on season 12 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, has taken to Twitter to talk about being a former sex worker.

Sakura, who is based in San Francisco, came 12th in last year’s show (eventually won by Jaida Essence Hall). Sakura’s distinctive look is partly inspired by her love of anime and J-pop

Sakura, who is Asian-American, said she wanted to stop carrying around what had become a heavy secret. She was also moved to speak out following the mass shooting in Atlanta on Tuesday which resulted in the death of eight people.

The shootings took place at three Atlanta massage spas and most of the victims were Asian-American women who worked at the businesses. Police quickly arrested a 21-year-old white man, Robert Aaron Long, for the slaying. Long has admitted his guilt.

“I have to get something off of my chest,” Sakura began in a lengthy Twitter thread. “Something that has been weighing very heavy on me for a long time now, but I feel needs to be said for me and for many other right now.

“I want to preface this with, I’m not sure how this will be taken, if people will support me or not, if people will leave the fanbase, or send me hate messages, unsubscribe or whatever.

“Because I don’t think those things matter right now. With the violent crimes that have been affecting the Asian community as of recently and the hate crimes that were committed last night I wanted to come out and say that I was a sex worker, specifically working with massage until my debut on season 12.

“Why is it important that I come out and say this to everyone? Every day I have felt the emotional weight of keeping this secret from the community, and my fanbase, because of fear of being blacklisted from things like TV appearances and All Stars, slut-shamed publicly, or losing job opportunities in different countries (I was never threatened or told I was).

Related: This ‘Drag Race’ guest judge no-showed so producers replaced her with a bearded mannequin

“I remember feeling shame during DR when asked did for a living, and I had to lie and say I was a full-time queen because I didn’t want to get kicked off (I didn’t know if I would, I was just scared).

“The truth is, my job paid for my expenses while I lived in SF, and helped me pursue and fund my drag, even on drag race.

“But right now people need to see, need to hear, and need to know that we need to #stopasianhate , and protect sex workers. What happened last night was exactly what it looks like. A hate crime against Asian people.”

She continued, “I want everyone to have perspective, that could easily have been me, it could easily have been people you care about and love.

“I have felt safety in the LGBT community, while I was working. I have felt strong and supported. Please, I urge you, if you are a fan of me, of of drag, and LGBTQIA+ person or ally, please help protect our community right now. Please keep Asian people safe.

 

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A post shared by Rock M. Sakura (@rockmsakura)


She continued, “I have often distanced myself from talking about matters involving myself sexually, tried to distance myself from thirst baiting, and avoided talking about my sex life, because to me, Sakura is not Bryan. Sakura is my vessel for expressing my love of all things cute and kawaii, fun and wild. But I think it’s important right now to use her platform to help you realize how much this means to me.

“How scared I am right now. After this tweet, I hope you will all respect me enough to understand that I will talk about this further if I want to. But, also know I don’t regret doing sex work and I don’t feel shame now that I’ve come out publicly and said it.

“Thank you all for reading. This tweet has left me very vulnerable. I really don’t know how it will go. If I’ll get canceled, if I lose my supporters. I know I didn’t have to make this tweet. But, I wanted to be brave.

“Please know I love you all, and it has been so wonderful being with you all. I hope that you can all support me, I really do. Please support the families of victims, in anyway you can. I’m going to log off social media for a while because this post has been giving me anxiety all day.”

“I’ll be okay, and I’ll be safe. Please take care, and remember to love yourselves.”

She added as a clarification: “This is a PS after reading everything: I was never threatened to be blacklisted or anything from anywhere. EVER. The stigma of sex work, made ME believe that would be a consequence.”

Related: Two ‘Drag Race’ queens hit with allegations of racism

Sakura’s tweets have receiving an overwhelmingly supportive response.

“Thank you for your bravery, sis!”, said fellow Drag Race queen and San Francisco resident Honey Mahogany. “Sex work is work! Nothing to be ashamed of, and you’re in good company. Plenty of girls have done porn, and half our sisters have an OnlyFans now. AND GOOD FOR THEM!”

“Thank you for sharing your story,” said another queen, Pandora Boxx. “There should be no shame in sex work. We need to correct this narrative in society. I stand by you and support you. We must all stand together at stop these hate crimes. #StopAsianHateCrimes”