A transgender drag performer with coronavirus symptoms said it's 'the least scary' thing she's been through
- Nicky Monet, a transgender drag performer known for her appearance on "Keeping Up With The Kardashians," told Insider doctors said she probably has the novel coronavirus.
- Monet, who is immunocompromised due to a blood disorder called thalassemia, said she developed severe symptoms of the virus 11 days into a self-quarantine.
- "I go through some crazy stuff in my life and it's very public on Instagram," Monet told Insider. "I built this fan base on encouraging people and being a strong person and, to me, this is the least scary of what I've ever been through."
- Like other LGBTQ+ performers unable to put on shows due to COVID-19, Nicky said she is more concerned about what a prolonged pandemic could mean for her ability to bring in income.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
Nicky Monet, a transgender drag performer known for her appearance on "Keeping up with the Kardashians," usually shares the details of her life every day for her online fans to see.
However, the performer recently took an unexpected hiatus from online platforms, prompting a slew of questions from her followers. After a few days of not posting, Monet reappeared in a now-deleted Instagram video captioned "Covid-19 The Truth." The performer lacked her usual full face of glam makeup and laid on her bed while she addressed the camera.
"It's really hard for me to make this video for your guys, but everyone's wondering where I've been the past few days not posting on Instagram," Monet said. "[Doctors] said it's safe to assume I have the virus and now it's in my lungs and I have pneumonia."
Because she is immunocompromised due to a blood disorder called thalassemia, Monet said she had been used to taking health precautions prior to the spread of the coronavirus.
Monet decided to self isolate in early March. Nine days into her quarantine, Monet noticed her breathing had become more labored and her throat was sore.
Initially, Monet thought it was just congestion. But as her symptoms intensified over the next two days, she grew more concerned and decided to seek medical attention.
Monet wasn't tested for COVID-19, but given an x-ray to check for pneumonia
Living in California — one of the states hit hardest by coronavirus in the US — Monet's closest hospital has set up tents in the parking lot to test possible coronavirus patients in order to handle the droves of people seeking medical attention.
Monet said that because her symptoms were so severe, doctors told her they would not test her for coronavirus and treat her with the assumption that she had the virus.
"They made me hand-sanitize my hands, put a mask on, and they rushed me to this outside area," Monet said.
In the parking lot of St. Bernardine's Medical Center, Monet was x-rayed and given confirmation she had pneumonia.
"That's how I knew it was serious," Monet told Insider.
While she was not officially tested for the novel coronavirus, Monet was given a thick packet of information about the virus before being sent home.
Monet is in good spirits but worries for her income during the quarantine
While Monet's symptoms are difficult to deal with, the performer told Insider she is in good spirits.
"I go through some crazy stuff in my life and it's very public on Instagram," Monet said. "I built this fan base on encouraging people and being a strong person and, to me, this is the least scary of what I've ever been through."
In order to spread awareness, Monet plans on document her healing process on Instagram.
Though Monet is fairly optimistic about her health, she is growing increasingly concerned about how taking time off from performing could hurt her bank account.
"I don't just do normal shows, I'm a gymnast and a hardcore dancer," Monet said. "So any kind of little immune system breakup will kill my work and I rely on that to pay my bills and to make a life for myself and to inspire others. I was always concerned about catching it because it could hurt my finances in the long run."
Like other LGBTQ+ performers impacted by the virus, global lockdowns also mean Monet will be unable to bring in income by doing live shows, which make up a significant portion of her earnings.
Some members of the drag community have started hosting digital drag shows to bring in extra income, while Monet has turned her attention to promoting brands on social media. But she's still worried.
"We're coming up on week three of not working, and the landlord's still sending us emails that our rent is due," Monet said. "It's kind of scary. Us drag performers or bartenders or bar backs or DJs — all of us are out of work for three weeks and I don't know what to do."
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