“Drag Race” Winner Sasha Velour Gives The Best Life Advice We’ve Ever Heard

Hint: It involves wearing "cute shoes."

This letter is part of our inaugural editorial series, “Letter to Myself,” in which we asked 40 remarkable queer people to write a note to their younger selves.

Dear Sashinka,

I love your enthusiasm, but Masha the Russian Spy-Mouse will never be a thing, so stop bothering your friends about it!

Instead, tell them about how you dress up in your Mom’s old Renaissance Faire costume and pretend to be Queen Victoria every evening. Or how you wish you were The Wicked Witch of the West because for some reason you identify with that melting pool of angry steam at the end. If you are feeling bold, tell them about your Evil Queen fantasy, the one where you and Snow White bury the prince alive in a hole and then marry each other. Only femmes allowed!

Don’t hide yourself to make other people comfortable. Don’t make excuses for who you are or what you look like. Enjoy your body, decorate it.

Don’t take yourself too seriously. But also, do take yourself seriously because otherwise no one else will. It’s a balancing act. There will be many missteps. Make sure you are wearing cute shoes.

Unfortunately, this world is not an easy place. And others have it much worse. Prepare for the struggle. Not just for yourself, but especially for those you care about. Not just for success but for safety and peace and health. I wish I could say it goes away, but it doesn’t, and sometimes it gets harder, but you won’t have to go at it alone.

Be a conscious citizen, vote, be open to change, read the news, wear accessories, don’t let anyone dis your fanny-pack, yes, you can pull off socks and sandals—don’t listen to them, take responsibility for yourself, smile with all your teeth (that smirky thing you are trying is dumb), don’t wear lemon yellow, it’s not a good color for you.

One day, despite your cynicism, you really are going to be a Queen. Own it. Enjoy it. Trust yourself, be bold. I love you.

P.S. Masha the Russian Spy-Mouse is brilliant, I’m sorry for what I said, never let go of your dreams!

Sasha Velour is currently on tour in the United States and abroad.

Read more letters here.

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