“It’s so cliché, but it’s always ‘be who you are’. Sometimes clichés are clichés because they’re right. It’s just as simple as that. Don’t be afraid to just be who you are. Speak up, really.”
That is Adore Delano’s (real name:Danny Noriega) advice to young LGBTQ people.
“I always say that a lot of the drag queens get flak for what they do, but the first person in Stonewall who threw that stone in the glass was a drag queen. It’s like we fight for what we believe in and I think it’s a beautiful thing. If you have a voice, fucking speak up!”
Delano finished as one of the top three contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race‘s sixth season, thereby making a name as an international drag queen. Even if she did not win the title as “America’s Next Drag Superstar”, she was one of the few queens who joined the reality show who ended up making a name somehow.
In an exclusive interview with Outrage Magazine, Delano recalled how the whole experience opened new doors for her life and career.
“My whole life changed. I can take care of my family now. I can confidently say that I don’t have to think about how much money I have in my bank account to buy this dress or anything.”
Delano could still recall how things were in the past, when she was just starting, “I was always that poor queen who would borrow $4 to buy a pack of cigarettes,” she said. “But I don’t really have to do that anymore.”
Delano’s first album, “Till Death Do Us Party”, logged the biggest sales in a week from any of RuPaul’s Drag Race competitors, selling 5,000 copies during the week of its release.
The record also produced several singles that charted, like Party, which debuted at No. 3 on the Dance/Electronic Albums chart and at No. 59 on Billboard 200; and I Adore You, which debuted at No. 49 on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart and at No. 34 on Dance/Electronic Digital Songs.
Delano was in Manila recently, where casual and hardcore fans witnessed not only her singing prowess, but her wit.
“(My stay in Manila0 has been fun. I think (the LGBT community here) is awesome. There are a lot of people who go to their favorite bars here, and they support the queens, and they appreciate all the work that these queens put on their shows. And they actually appreciate them,” Delano said.
Delano is now busy writing songs for her new album.
“I went through a lot of stuff last year and I get to put a lot of that into my music and just express myself,” she said.
And with her new album, she hopes to reach an even wider audience and inspire people through her songs.
“Hopefully people will gravitate towards the songs and can relate to them. I want to break new boundaries with my new album. And I’m really hoping that I hit the kids in the heart with my songs,” she said.
Delano recounted what it was like when she was growing up and how the things that happened to her became life lessons.
“I was always unapologetic with the way that I was when I was growing up,” she said. “But it was hard. I got bullied a lot.”
Delano added: “You learn from that and you gain strength. It’s whether you fall from it or you learn from it and you build walls up. I felt like wearing makeup was like my superhero mask. And I was like, ‘no one’s going to fuck with me’.”
Delano has long moved from bitterness. Asked what she can say to those who make the lives of LGBTQ people harder, she said: “They are wonderful. A friend of mine told me that when someone has anything to criticize against you, just look at them and say: ‘You are wonderful’. It’s good to just gravitate against all the negativity and just fuck them.”