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When figure skating champ Kurt Browning met drag queen Skirt Browning

Shauna Fay, known today as drag queen Skirt Browning, idolized Kurt Browning when she was growing up. So what happened when Kurt met Skirt?

Shauna Fay, known today as drag queen Skirt Browning, idolized Kurt Browning when she was growing up

The moment drag queen Skirt Browning met figure skating legend Kurt Browning. (CBC / Andrew Friesen)

Contributed by Shauna Fay, as told to Now or Never

When I was a kid in the 1990s, I was basically living figure skating. Every living, breathing moment was thinking about figure skating.

It seeps into everything. Your friendships revolve around figure skating. When you go home, you keep skating in the living room. I was in my socks all the time jumping and dancing and spinning on the floor.

And the person who I looked up to most and who inspired me most was Kurt Browning.

Even as a young figure skater, I was a bit of a drag queen. (Submitted by Shauna Fay)

He is the most charming, charismatic skater. Kurt Browning was so respectable and always had a smile on his face. I'm still charmed by him, what can I say?

I often finished my childhood diary entries with "I love Kurt Browning, I'd really like to meet him."

25 years later, I don't do figure skating any more but I do have creative outlets. Now, I do drag performances. And when I'm in drag, I'm no longer Shauna.

I'm Skirt Browning. 

How meeting my idol Kurt Browning helped me become a better drag queen

2 years ago
6:44
When Shauna Fay discovered a passion for performing drag, she looked to her childhood figure skating idol Kurt Browning for inspiration -- and her drag persona Skirt Browning was born. 6:44

Naming myself Skirt Browning was absolutely in honour of Kurt Browning. It was not a joke. It was a tip of my drag hat to the person who pushed me to centre ice and now pushes me to the centre of the drag stage.

The night Skirt met Kurt

Eleven-year-old Shauna was dying to meet Kurt Browning. And now, all of these years later, he's here. In Winnipeg. And I'm going to get to meet him finally. But I'm meeting him as Skirt Browning.

Hear emotional moment that we met:

Hear the backstage moment that Winnipeg drag queen Skirt Browning met figure skating legend Kurt Browning. 4:20

He was so kind. Meeting him was really special — and I'm feeling really validated. I'm going to remember that if I'm ever feeling crappy, I made this happen. I met Kurt Browning and he believes in me.

The big moment. Kurt Browning believes in me! (CBC / Andrew Friesen)

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. To hear the full interview, click the 'listen' button above!

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