RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under contestant Pomara Fifth — also known as Brad Kennedy — is best known as a drag queen however, there’s a surprisingly mixed resume hidden under her garter belt.
In fact, the 30-year-old queen was a frontline worker in Sydney during the global pandemic, working at vaccination clinics across the city.
Brad had previously studied nursing at the University of New South Wales while working as a full-time queen, but eventually deferred studying to focus on his passion, with only one month left of the degree.
“I was trying to do drag and nursing at the same time. They’re both very demanding jobs,” Brad told So Dramatic!.
“I thought to myself, ‘you know, I can always come back to nursing, I can’t really come back to the place that I am at the moment in drag‘.”
How RuPaul’s Drag Race Star Pomara Fifth Became a Frontline Worker amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
But like many queens, she lost work when the pandemic hit and eventually decided to focus on her other career path.
“I got a job in the hospitals. And then I had the opportunity to go and help start up the vaccination clinics in Sydney. So I essentially helped start up a lot of the vaccination clinics in New South Wales,” Brad said.
“Being a part of that team was amazing. Going around getting hundreds of 1000s of people vaccinated. We set up multiple clinics. It was great, long, tiring, but it was great.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under‘s Brad Kennedy Aimed To Assist Indigenous Communities In Getting Vaccinated
Brad – who has both Maori and Aboriginal heritage – then went on to focus on setting up vaccination clinics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Indigenous communities.
After the clinic started closing down with vaccines becoming more widely available, Brad moved into a new role as the Aboriginal liaison officer for Department of Housing and even received a NAIDOC Award for Outstanding Service to the Community.
But when Pomara was offered a spot on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, the Department of Housing wouldn’t let her take time off, so she decided to focus on her drag career again and quit the government job.
Pomara Fifth‘s Reveals Her Views on Cultural Appropriation in the Drag Scene
Pomara told So Dramatic! that Hannah “doesn’t have a racist bone in her body” and a lot of her mistakes were more likely misguided cultural appreciation that accidentally became appropriation.
While she had a lot to say about it, fans didn’t see Pomara Fifth give her perspective on racism and cultural appropriation.
In fact, Pomara revealed she wanted to be a part of the televised conversation, having previously experienced prejudice from different communities as an Aboriginal and Maori person with lighter skin.
“[I’m] always second guessed,” Pomara said. “I don’t know, it’s sort of like a really, really, really old mindset of going, ‘but he’s not black’. It’s the literal quote from Mean Girls. ‘If you’re from Africa, why are you white?'”
Pomara – whose final outfit on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under was a stunning dress that featured an Indigenous design – said people doubting her descent felt like a “high five to the face with a brick”.
“I’m not here to prove anything to anyone. I love my culture. I’m here to represent and be part of the voice and be part of educating people. And I have fabulous sisters. I think that’s all we need to worry about,” she said.
Or, as she said on Drag Race: “It doesn’t matter how much milk you add to tea, it’s still tea, b*tch!”
Want even more goss? Listen to episode 207 of the So Dramatic! podcast with Megan Pustetto below!
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