AN ASPIRING drag queen who was told he was “too big” for a performing arts degree is making a name for himself in Bradford.
Garron Garner, who performs as ‘Sugar Rush’, found refuge at a music club in the city after years of denying his sexuality and struggling to manage his ADHD and autism.
The 25-year-old drag artist turned to writing musicals for the School of Rock and Media to cope - including the Brunch Club, a millennial twist on the 1980s coming of age film, The Breakfast Club, about “the struggles of being Queer in 2019”.
The performer told the Telegraph & Argus: “I found life very hard, struggling with outbursts.
“It wasn’t until 10 or 12 years ago I realised I was gay.
“People were saying stuff about me. In my head it was never anything wrong.
“Growing up big, fat and gay, I’ve seen a lot of nasty in the world.
“I’ve learnt to get a thick skin.
“I’ve learnt to brush it off.
“Only 30 years ago people like us used to get killed walking down the street.
“Things are not easy but they’re a hell of a lot easier than they were a few years ago.”
The drag artist revealed his long held secret to his family and entered, what he describes as, “a brave new world”.
But just because Garron had finally accepted himself it didn’t mean all of society would join him.
He said: “I remember walking through the street with people shouting ‘faggot’ at me. Somebody spat at me.
“I went out with some friends in Blackpool. I walked into this club and I said ‘I’m just going to the loo’ and I was just humming to myself and this one walked up to me and calls me a ‘f*****g puff’ and punched me.”
Amidst the hate, Garron found himself at Bradford Pride and LGBT+ theatre groups where he met people who shared a similar story.
The drag queen, who now regularly travels to the city from his hometown of Barnoldswick, said: “I don’t know if they’d ever seen it before but people were fascinated.
“They were looking at me like I was a celebrity.
“I got more comfortable the more that I went, I made a few friends.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had more people round me in my life.
“I want to make it big as a drag queen so I can see all these young kids who are getting down or in trouble and say ‘You can contribute to this and you can have a proper life’.”
Now Garron is leading the way in his chosen art, taking on the feminine and sweet character of ‘Sugar Rush’.
The name is a play on words to describe his moments of high energy from ADHD and the effects of sugar on the waistline.
The performer said his behavioural disorder gives him “big bursts of energy like I’ve been chugging Lucozade.”
Garron, who uses candy-scented perfume and sweets in his shows, said: “When I’m on stage I want that they’re seeing me and they think he’s like candy and he smells like candy.
“When you’re on the stage doing it it’s like an indescribable feeling.
“It’s like being a character at Disney land.
“Through doing drag I learnt to accept who I was. I was always conscientious about my weight.
“It’s through doing drag that I managed to get to that place.
“It’s perfect for me.”