Brandon Austin to Sophia Stardust, this 17-year-old British drag has been through a journey. From school to graduation his life was all about dance, drama and drag. And Brandon’s family was a huge support that got him through with his passion for the art.
Starting young- Brandon Austin
As a child, Brandon had a liking towards dance. At a very young age, he joined dance and drama at school. But when he lost his mother in a car crash, and this got him to stop performing at the age of 7. Eventually, in middle school, Brandon decided to go back to performing what he enjoyed. It is a hard life for a child in school with all the bullying, teasing and name-calling. Luckily, Brandon did not have to undergo too much of it. Which is not the case for many LGBT+ students in many schools. It is easy to lose confidence with all the teasing.
‘I started to know about my sexuality about year 9 or 10. I never came out – I wasn’t badly bullied as such. People would tease, saying to me you’re gay and we know it. It can really destroy your confidence.’
But this did not stop Brandon from continuing what he loved. This led him to take part in his first drag show at Holy Trannity with Sharon Needles. Consequently, he lip-synced with the other three drag queens when he was called up on stage. When he won, that’s when his love for drag blossomed. Secondly, with a supportive father by his side and encouraging friends and tutors, Brandon took part in more drag events. At college and any other opportunity he got.
Becoming Sophia Stardust
Brandon graduated with an acting diploma at West Kent college in Tonbridge, which is a small town south-east of London. Here is where he was exposed to more people who were gay and were open about the same. Brandon grew more confident and felt overwhelmed to be around such people. With growing exposure to drag, he started learning more about the art through YouTube. At his graduation he got a wild idea to try out the famous Death Drop. He decided to do it after seeing how encouraging his friends were. It was a success. He felt overwhelmed by the crown cheering. Brandon’s confidence is something that is quite inspiring.
“I just said to my friends, “how iconic would it be if I did a death drop?” All my friends were into it. So when I got up there, and all friends were cheering, I just thought let’s do it. The crowd screamed and cheered. Everyone was also so shocked. It was amazing”
Without the support, guidance of his friends and tutors, he would not have got the confidence to do drag and be able to perform. With 200 thousand likes on twitter and even more on Instagram, his death drop was a huge success. Life hasn’t been the same for Brandon ever since. Brandon has his own YouTube show where he shows how he transforms to become Sophia Stardust.
“College has been one of the best experiences of my life. I wouldn’t be who I am today without the support.”
Whats next for this drag queen?
Drag Race is a show that airs in UK. Brandon plans to be a part of the same. He does not feel like he is ready as yet for the Drag Race. He feels that a lot of young people can connect with the show. Brandon feels that he can help a lot of people and be there for them by being a nice queen. Drag races provide a huge opportunity for teenage drags to perform. It helps them broaden their horizon. This is what Brandon Austin feels about the platform.
“I really want to be a nice queen – I want to be there for people and help others. I also do think the platform would give me a good opportunity to broaden my horizons.”
Brandon Austin A.K.A Sophia Stardust is one of many drag stories that can be told. Many drags around the world feel less confident to show their talents. This could be for many reasons. Bullying and teasing among teenagers is not less common which is a different issue that needs to be spoken about. Brandon over came the same and is now doing what he is good at and what he enjoys doing. With support and awareness and the right attitude, it should not be too difficult to showcase your talent and grow in what you love doing.
Brandon keeps growing and showcasing his talent where nothing can stop him. He could be an inspiration to many drags all around. It is also very pleasing to see how people are so passionate about certain things. It makes you happy and wanting to see more people like Brandon (Sophia Stardust).