Sahara Davenport, one of the more popular contestants on the drag queen competition show RuPaul’s Drag Race, has reportedly died at the age of 27.
Several blogs including Gawker, Towleroad, Out, and Queerty have reported that Antoine Ashley, known as Sahara Davenport when in drag, has died. The cause of death is currently not known as details of this death have not yet seen publication in major news media outlets. The best piece of evidence we currently have that could elevate this tragic report beyond a rumor is the Facebook page of Manila Luzon, another drag queen and RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant who was said to be in a relationship with Sahara before the latter’s death.
Manila made one Facebook post Sunday that simply read “I love him so much,” followed by over a thousand fan comments expressing condolence over Sahara’s death.
Also adding to the rumor’s verification, RuPaul’s Drag Race judge Michelle Visage, who has put out several emotional tweets over the past 24 hours or so. Ten hours ago as of this posting, Visage tweeted “PRAYING ITS A RUMOR” followed shortly by “God PLEASE NOOOOO.” After being prompted by another Twitter user to confirm the news of Sahara’s death, Visage apparently did, tweeting:
It’s true and I have no words. Have to sign off for now kids, can’t handle this. XOXO
— michelle visage (@michellevisage) October 2, 2012
Several other contestants and figures associated with RuPaul’s Drag Race have expressed their condolences over Sahara’s death.
A beautiful angel has been added to Heaven. Rest in peace my sweet friend. We will miss you, Sahara Davenport.
— jujubee (@jujuboston) October 2, 2012
I am deeply saddened and at a lost for words. @saharadavenport – I Love you sis.
— BeBe Zahara Benet (@BeBeZaharaBenet) October 2, 2012
As sad as it is to say, this rumor seems to be the real deal. With all of the celebrity hoaxes burning through social media these days, it can be hard to tell if a report is genuine. However, the social media confirmation from several individuals close to Sahara or otherwise involved in RuPaul’s Drag Race is too strong to ignore.
We’ll report more (cause of death, etc.) as it comes out. Until then, our condolences to family and friends of Sahara Davenport.