A drag fan named Annecy (pronouns are they/them) has come forward with horrifying stories about the abuse they endured at the hands of Aaron Coady (also known as Sharon Needles from RuPaul's Drag Race, winner of Season 4) from the ages of 15-17.
Trigger warning for a lot of things including racism, suicidal ideation, self-harm, mental illness, fatphobia, grooming, physical and sexual abuse, etc. because while this account is potentially triggering for many, I also think this is important for drag and Drag Race fans to know about. I also think it's important Annecy's story gets shared, because they were so brave for speaking out against their abuser, and it's time to take the trash out with these men, as was done to Joey Gugliemell.
While Aaron's drag name is "Sharon Needles," I will be referring to him as Aaron going forward.
Annecy lists everything they remember happening to them in this Google doc, but for the sake of brevity, I'm going to paraphrase and highlight some of the things they wrote about.
Annecy has been a fan of drag since the age of 13, but at 15, officially became "friends" with then-31-year-old Aaron. Annecy is now 22.
Summer of 2013, the two became "buddies" on Vine after Annecy tried to overdose on ibuprofen and someone else told Aaron about their suicide attempt. Annecy was sent videos via Vine of Aaron yelling "eat more pills, Annecy!" and mocking them for being suicidal. Annecy writes: "Even though it hurt, I just let myself be starstruck and believe it was a form of tough love. I found a video of me when I was 15 talking about a phone call I had with her that night gushing about how she told me I needed to keep eating pills because I was alive and it wasn’t working and that suicide was beautiful and that I was an idiot."
Several months later, Annecy was invited to be on a Drag Race-themed cruise after winning second place in a contest. Aaron and Annecy met in person at a hotel before the voyage, even though Annecy was still only 15 at the time. Aaron got out some weed and "shotgunned" it aggressively into Annecy's mouth. "I never even had my first kiss yet and a 32 year old man was blowing drugs into me mouth to mouth," they wrote. They showed Aaron their self-harm scars and Aaron accused them of "doing it wrong" and encouraged them to "cut deeper."
While aboard the cruise, Annecy told Michelle Visage that Aaron had given them drugs, and Michelle was horrified. Aaron presumably got a slap on the wrist for it, and was very angry with Annecy. He confronted them about it and was "literally scary."
Aaron plied them with alcohol even though Annecy said they didn't like the taste of it (and again, was only 15). Aaron also continued the regular "weed shotguns," and left lipstick on Annecy's mouth. He also regularly did drugs in front of them, including molly, crack, and poppers, and encouraged them to try poppers.
They wrote: "She would pee with the door open around me...The last night of the cruise she made me walk around with her for like 30 minutes while she drunkenly made out with every dude we passed."
Aaron whipped out his penis once in front of Annecy, and when they were reasonably horrified, Aaron blamed them and said "You should have looked away."
Aaron got extremely drunk one night and punched Annecy in the arm. He also hit them "really hard with a knife."
Aaron played with Annecy's boobs and slapped and groped their butt.
Annecy had to scream for help one night when a depressed Aaron threatened to jump off the ship's balcony and commit suicide. "I was 15 years old trying to save my idol from jumping off a cruise ship."
While on the cruise, an adult man approached Annecy and attempted to groom them. Annecy told Aaron, but he advised them to keep quiet about the abuse.
After the cruise, the two continued to chat regularly on FaceTime, and work together in a play in San Francisco. On one occasion, Aaron asked Annecy on FaceTime what they masturbated to.
When Annecy was 16, Aaron convinced them to stop taking their Prozac cold turkey. Aaron also sent them nudes of another teenage boy that he was "friends" with at the time.
When Annecy again showed Aaron their self-harm scars, Aaron advised them to cut in "argyle patterns."
It goes on and on, and there's more in Annecy's thread and it's all absolutely disgusting.
As if that all weren't bad enough, after Annecy spoke out against him, Aaron privately DM'ed Annecy about the allegations, which they then shared:
A number of drag artists and fans rushed to Annecy's defense, and accused Aaron of gaslighting them.
"I’m posting this after debating for three years whether I should speak up for a number of reasons," Annecy wrote. "I think parents and guardians need to be cautious if they’re going to let their kids hang around adults unsupervised specifically if they don’t know the adults no matter who they are. Powerful people seem to have a tendency to take advantage of those smaller than them. "
UPDATE: Aquaria, winner of Season 10, has spoken out against Aaron and explained a bit more about their relationship. She clarifies Sharon was never really her "drag mother."
(1/2) I’ve hardly been online the past day, so my apologies for being late. here’s a short message for the time being to the concerned fans looking for a response from me. Please be respectful. pic.twitter.com/O0SPD5Hlhw