lipstick effect’, and be a key component in how people choose to present themselves in the world.In the LGBTQ+ community, this experience can be heightened, helping to amplify features, explore a multi-faceted identity, or even be part of ‘finding’ oneself.Metro.co.uk spoke to a mix of people from the community to hear their makeup stories.There’s famed drag queen, Cherry Valentine, who has understood the confidence-boosting powers of makeup since childhood.Ben Pechey, who is out and proud as a non-binary person, and believes makeup has played a role in conversations around their gender identity.Then Alicia Connolly, a young lesbian exploring her sexuality while overcoming limiting ‘lipstick lesbian’ stereotypes, along with others.Read it and reach for your makeup bag, for it is a many-layered thing.Cherry Valentine, or George Ward out of drag, identifies as gender fluid.

George’s pronouns are he/they, though when presenting in drag, she/her.Known for competing in RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, makeup is an important part of presenting as Cherry.‘I remember when I was about four years old and saw my mother wear lipstick and mascara.

It helped me see that regardless of what’s going on, a bit of makeup can change your mood.‘Since the first time I’d seen it, I knew innately that it was something I wanted to have a go at. ‘Makeup really has helped me embrace my LGBTQ+ identity.