Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Champ Passes Away...

Most people live their public life behind a mask. We project a picture of ourselves that we want the world to see.

'Champ' was a boy from a little town in the Thai countryside who ended up, like so many, on the streets of Bangkok.

But unlike so many others, Champ found his way in life by impersonating his idol Whitney Houston.

He dedicated his short life to bringing joy to thousands of locals and tourists alike - most famously on stage at DJ Station in Bangkok's Silom Soi 2.

Like his idol, Champ's life had many highs and lows but his incredible show usually went on regardless. Very rarely did things get so difficult for him that he couldn't perform.

Although he worked as a female artiste, he lived his ordinary life as a gay man. He was living for the immanent release of Whitney's new come back album. It would have given his life and career a new energy and direction ... songs to learn... videos, outfits and hairstyles to imitate ... a whole new show to put together for his adoring fans.
I swear, some people liked Champ more than Whitney. He has fans all around the world.

But death is real. It comes without warning. Champ suddenly went blind and deaf. He had an infection that went straight to his brain and he passed away on Saturday night, 25 July.

As I write this blog, I am imagining the many many drag-queens, lady-boys and friends who are making their way up country to Champ's faraway village to attend his funeral... they will have bought bus and train tickets they can barely afford... they will be carrying suitcases and bags filled with hats and wigs, make-up and dignified frocks.
They will descend on Champ's unsuspecting village - triumphant and unashamed of themselves, in memory of him and on his behalf.

I am also mindful that most of them - myself included - know almost nothing of the real person behind the mask: his proper name, his story, his dreams...

1 comment:

  1. I want to express my regret of his short time with us.. it is sad that this world wont ever be able to enjoy his wonderful show. I am usually not a fan of a dragshow.. but he was the only one of a kind. I am a fan. I will miss him much. I just go to know about this today 30sec ago.. abit late but still shocked.. My thoughts are with all of you in BKK.