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'RuPaul's Drag Race' All-Star Chi Chi DeVayne Is Gone But Will Not Be Forgotten

By Kristy Puchko | Celebrity | August 20, 2020 |

By Kristy Puchko | Celebrity | August 20, 2020 |


Zavion Davenport, whose drag persona was Chi Chi DeVayne, is dead at 34. As DeVayne, Davenport made a mark on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 8 and RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 3, bringing charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent, along with a spicy splash of Southern charm.

The native of Shreveport, Louisiana, had been undergoing serious health issues, seemingly tied to struggles with the autoimmune disease scleroderma. In July, DeVayne was hospitalized for high blood pressure and suspected kidney failure. Last week, she was back in the hospital with pneumonia. Various drag queen’s social media accounts promoted fundraisers to help pay her medical bills. On Saturday, Chi Chi addressed her Instagram followers with a video, in which she said, “Keep me in your prayers. I’ll be back soon.”

With her death today, the LGBTQA+ community loses a hero, and far too soon.

When Chi Chi first competed on Drag Race she was green compared to the established queens. Coming from humble beginnings, she didn’t have the funds to finance expensive costumes. Yet, she didn’t need that to dazzle. She made her grand entrance in the season premiere wearing literal trash bags, and she made it werk.

Chi Chi won the hearts of the Drag Race fandom with her striking smile, sharp wit, warm resilience, and irrepressible joie de vivre. She finished fourth that season, then returned in All Stars to show how she’d grown in grace and confidence. In the meantime, she’d become a full-time drag performer, a dream come true. Her enthusiasm and endurance made her an inspiration, which is reflected on Twitter today, where “Chi Chi” is trending with 200k+ tweets as I type this.

Fans are remembering her playful shade, her contagious mirth, her unapologetic vulnerability, her kindness, and her radiance. Here is just a few of the tweets that mourn her passing.

Chi Chi is gone, but will not be forgotten. She is now and forever an icon of drag, a beloved bayou queen, a champion for the LGBQTA+ community, and a star through and through. Her light will shine on and on.

Sources: EW, Decider,OUT

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Kristy Puchko is the managing editor of Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter.

Header Image Source: Getty