Vyla Virus – Letter To My Closet

Vyla Virus, one of Singapore’s most prolific drag queens, pens a letter on how the world of drag will not only provide fulfilment and joy, but also a second family.

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Closeted FB Cover Vyla (1)

Dear Aliff,

This is Vyla Virus, your drag persona at 27 years old. Surprised? I know you are, but don’t be. I am writing to you to let you have a peek of what’s to come growing up. 

1. I am sure by now you are aware of how flamboyant you are. People around you, especially friends your age, would be judging you for this. Please don’t get affected by what others think of you because you will realise soon that this will be one of your biggest strengths.

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2. At the age of 11, you are gonna face a very unfamiliar feeling. Your male best friend at that time will be someone you’ll admire a lot. It is going to get uncomfortable for a moment while you try to figure out this weird and unfamiliar feeling you are having towards him. It will be okay. You will eventually understand that you are different from the other boys around you. You are special. You are warned that your journey from then until you turn 16 will not be a smooth sailing one because of the lack of friends and reference of people like you (those with a same-sex attraction). This is where you are gonna meet Farhan, who will eventually be your best friend until now.

3. Things will slowly pick up when you get yourself involved in Chingay. You will have more friends of similar interest as you. Your interest in dance would also see your entry into an illustrious dance group known as Voguelicious. This will take your flamboyant self into a whole different meaning, and you will receive more public attention. That long rebonded hair and makeup of yours will see you be featured on Stomp because some people will think you’re a girl. This phase will see your first same-sex relationship.

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4. That relationship will spillover into your National Service days. The man who you thought was your everything will decide to leave you. Your world will come crumbling down which pushes you into a very dark place. You will feel alone. But I want you to plug in those earphones and turn to what you love, music and dance. Stay in that room as long as you need, cry as much as you want, and dance for as long as your feet can take. When you’re ready, step out – the whole world awaits you. 

5. Remember how you adore watching makeup videos? You would start dabbling into this art form where you conceptualise your drag persona, Vyla Virus. You don’t know this yet but this would be one of your greatest personal achievements. You will start taking part in amateur drag competitions, Drag Academy, and Drag It Out All Stars. You won’t win but that is okay because you have taken away experiences like no other. Three will always remain your magic number (you are the third child & you will get third place in both competitions). Your journey as a drag queen will see many people get close to you or make your acquaintance. Friends come and go. But remember, you have the right to choose who you let into your inner circle and who your chosen family are. These people whom you choose as your second family will remain your closest as at the date of this letter. They will understand you, go through life with you and pull you out of any dark places you’ll be in. They will treasure you for you.

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6. Even after all you’ve been through, you are lucky that you do not have to come out to your family because somehow they know who you are and accepted it. Be thankful for that, because not many people I know at my current age have the same liberty that you will have. 

7. Stay humble, because it’ll get you further than you think it might. The things I said above should be sufficient to let you have a peek of what’s to come. Telling you more might change how things turn out. The rest is all up to you.  

With love from your future self,

DSP Author Vyla
Written by Vyla Virus: @vylavirus

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