Bebe Zahara Benet fought back from the brink of ruin to land ‘All-Stars Season 3’

Welcome to Queerty’s Pride 50, a series of articles celebrating the people and movements we are particularly proud of this season. Next year marks 50 years since the first Pride march in New York City, and this season we’re celebrating the amazing people who are continuing the progress of a half-century of Pride.

Name: BeBe Zahara Benet, 37

Who She Is: Drag performer

Why She Matters: Winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 1, contestant on All-Stars Season 3. A documentary of her life and times, Being Bebe, is in production.

Why We’re Proud: Born in Cameroon as Nea Marshall Ngwa, BeBe grew up in France before immigrating to the United States during his college years. He began performing in drag in his native Minneapolis before landing his gig on Drag Race. Using the win as capital, BeBe began a recording career, penning his own dance hits which he performed in his drag persona.

BeBe then moved to New York to focus on recording only to run into some hard times. After five years and on the brink, BeBe landed the All Stars Season 3 spot.

Related: BeBe Zahara Benet on the RuPaul flap: “I celebrate drag in every color, shape, and form”

Having overcome long odds to flourish while making a difference, she’s landed a spot on our 49 reasons to be proud this pride season.

As she told Queerty:

There is something universal about my story: love, loyalty, perseverance. It transcends race and I deal with things everyone can understand regardless of race. No matter who you are, you will take something from the film. I felt like my story was meant to be told. I believe people can relate to and be inspired by my journey

h/t: Queerty