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Peppermint: ‘Drag gave me the keys to my gender and sexuality’

The drag performer, 37, talks about being teetotal, fighting homophobia and setting fire to her mum’s kitchen

Everyone has something in the closet, whether it’s your sexuality, your history, or a deeply held secret. Coming out is just getting to grips with those skeletons and feeling free enough to share them without fear. I first came out in second grade. One kid in my class made me feel bold enough to say I was different, even if I didn’t have the words as a child in Delaware to explain exactly how.

I set my house on fire as a teenager when I was cooking and went for a gossip on the phone. I came back and the whole kitchen was ablaze and I became enveloped in an inferno, with second-degree burns. I know my mother worked really hard for what little we had, and I literally burned it to the ground, but it taught me that stop, drop and roll really does work.

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