Michelle Visage turned to LGBTQ+ allyship after being bullied at school.The 53-year-old, who serves as a permanent judge on the beloved World Of Wonder series, has been a fiercely loyal ally of the community for decades, having found her tribe of drag performers in the New York ballrooms of the 1980s.Michelle’s unpleasant formative years pushed her to become a ferocious protector of marginalised people that many around the globe see her as today.Speaking exclusively to Metro.co.uk, she shed light on her traumatic youth which saw her ostracized and alone. ‘As a younger kid, I never really fit in,’ she recalled.‘I was picked on and bullied and could never understand why I didn’t have people that would have my back.

I think that’s why I became such a staunched ally because I didn’t have people when I got picked on or bullied that would defend me.’‘I would tell my younger self that I am loved, I am worthy and I’m okay just the way the way I am because I didn’t hear that, and nobody can hear that enough,’ Michelle continued.‘I tell my kids to look in the mirror and tell themselves “I love you” and it’s so crazy how we struggle telling ourselves when we can tell strangers so easily.’Michelle is beyond proud of the impact RuPaul’s Drag Race has had on the LGBTQ+ and drag community since its first episode aired in 2009. ‘I think it’s changed the way drag has been perceived,’ she tells us.‘I grew up in this community and drag was always marginalised even within the community.