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“I have a long journey to continue of loving myself, but I can start by doing a few things today to get to where I want to be in life.”

In a recent interview, Blair St. Clair, a former contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race, addressed his DUI arrest, life as a sober drag performer, and unpacking the trauma of his sexual assault.

The 22-year-old Indianapolis native, born Andrew Bryson, was eliminated from Drag Race back in April, but the impact he made by speaking up about his sexual assault still resonates.

He revealed on the show that his first sexual experience was being raped at a college party. Bryson shared with Mic in a recent interview that he had “not talked to another human being in my entire life about that… It’s something that I didn’t want to believe.”

It didn’t dawn on him until later that he was in denial for a long time over how he had been hurt.

“I didn’t understand myself because I had so many emotions that I hadn’t yet felt,” he said. “Those things inevitably were still working without me knowing that they were working in my brain.”

After his DUI arrest in March 2017, the budding star watched as his mugshot went viral and became tabloid fodder. It was a difficult time, he said, but necessary for him to make a change. “Thank you TMZ. Because TMZ is the reason and the wake-up call I needed to see a mugshot of mine spread like wildfire across the media.”

This prompted him to become sober. “It really comes down to acceptance… Are you being honest with yourself that you have a problem? Or are you telling yourself you have a problem because that’s what you want people to hear? … Do you also desire to seek change?”

When interviewer Evan Ross Katz asked what sobriety has taught him, Bryson responded, “What has sobriety not taught me? Sobriety has taught me a different way to look at my life. I’m not perfect, I make mistakes, and I’m still growing… It allows me to take a pause and step back and reflect and look at my life and look at my choices. And recognize that I am in control of my life today.

“I finally decided to look at my life as a means for loving myself. Because I didn’t recognize and I didn’t know and I didn’t understand for such a long time that I was not in a place of loving myself… I have a long journey to continue going of loving myself, but I can start by doing a few things today to get to where I want to be in life.”

Despite heavy drinking being a large part of gay culture, which Bryson also discussed, being able to distinguish drinking and partying from performing as Blair St. Clair helped keep him focused on his sobriety.

“We celebrate by drinking when we’re happy, we’re mad, we’re sad, any emotion we feel. I had to remember… these changes were made for me, they were made to protect me, but they were also made to protect my career at the end of the day.”

View the original article at thefix.com

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