On RuPaul’s Drag Race, spilling the tea is as common as donning a wig, but the drama got real on the March 15 episode when contestant Q revealed to her fellow drag queens that she’d been diagnosed with HIV two years ago.

Watch the clip in the video above, on YouTube or the Instagram post below.

The 26-year-old from Kansas City, Missouri, and the show’s other contestants were preparing for the show’s runway and describing the looks they prepared (the week’s runway category was “1980s”).

“I am doing something very sentimental for the runway today," Q said, while applying her makeup. “It’s inspired by the generation of gay people that we lost to the AIDS epidemic in the ’80s. So it’s really, really special to me.”

Then things got teary, and Q shared her HIV status. “I have also been HIV positive for, like, two years,” she told contestant Plane Jane as others listened in. “When I first got my diagnosis, I felt, like, really lost, and I felt, like, super alone,’ she said.

I want to be a voice for anyone who went through what I went through, so hopefully they don’t feel so alone. I am HIV+...

Posted by Drag by Q on Monday, March 18, 2024

“I tested positive when I was 24,” Q explained in segments interspersed with the workroom discussion. “I was mostly scared about how I was going to be treated by family and people around me who don’t understand it because it is so stigmatized. You know, people have said really awful and nasty things to me and almost dehumanizing me," she recalled.

“But I’m here. I’m on Drag Race, living my dreams. And I have a loving husband who really loves me and supports me no matter what.”

Plane Jane offered a hug and support. “I want to be there for her,” Jane explained to viewers, “I’ve come to love and value and respect Q, and I really do feel for Q in this moment.”

“It’s crazy how much people with HIV have to deal with,” Q said of living with the virus. “I’ve been treated differently by, like, health care providers. I think it’s so important to have queer people in health care. You really feel that difference in care between those providers.”

“You hear that, gay people?” Plane Jane quipped to contestants and viewers alike. “Stop doing drag, and start going to medical school.”

Fans who stuck around for the night’s Untucked episode got to meet Q’s husband via a pre-taped video message of support that was played in the lounge and had all the queens misty-eyed. It turns out that he works in health care and caters to the LGBTQ community. Q took the opportunity to share further information about living with HIV, including that because her viral load is undetectable, it means she can’t transmit the virus, a fact referred to as Undetectable Equals Undetectable, or U=U.

HIV disclosures have played a recurring role in Drag Race herstory since 2009, when OG queen Ongina revealed her HIV status in season 1.

After Q’s episode aired, she posted a message on social media along with images of her 1980s runway look, which was inspired by artist Keith Haring and designed to incorporate a large AIDS Red Ribbon.

“I want to be a voice for anyone who went through what I went through so hopefully they don’t feel so alone,” Q wrote. “I am HIV+ and undetectable. I am healthy. I am loved. My life is good. I’m living my dream. Let’s work together to end the stigma. Undetectable is untransmittable. Get tested, practice safe sex and ask your doctor if PrEP is a good option for you. Thanks for the love and support.”