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
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.
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.
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:
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.
2020 Update: Skirt hits the ice
Skirt Browning got to meet Kurt Browning nine months ago.
Now, after meeting him my drag is taking on other dimensions and I'm taking on more challenges and more dynamic work. Like performing on ice — in full drag — for the first time.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity. To hear the full interview, click the 'listen' button above!