RuPaul’s Drag Race star Courtney Act was crowned the winner of the British version of Celebrity Big Brother last week.
The drag queen — real name Shane Janek — was fan favorite going into the finale and beat out four other people to be crowned the winner.
🌟We’ve done it, Courtney is crowned #CBB queen!🌟
A huge thank you to everyone who voted and cheered along the way, we couldn’t have done it with you! 👑🦄🌈❤
— Courtney Act (@courtneyact) February 2, 2018
— Big Brother UK (@bbuk) February 2, 2018
Act ultimately won against retired conservative politician Ann Widdecombe, who came second, with Act saying it was “amazing” that the public had voted for her.
“My inspiration coming into the house was that teenage boy who didn’t quite know where he belonged or how he fitted in and feeling inspired by the Spice Girls,” Act said, “and not knowing what that meant but knowing if it was okay for them to be different then it was okay for me to be different…. I guess it’s validation that it’s okay to be different.”
Act was commended for the way she discussed gender and sexuality while in the house, particularly around Widdecombe, who spoke openly about being against gay marriage and has a long history of opposing LGBTQ rights as a politician.
Act repeatedly challenged Widdecombe on her views during their time in the house, though the former government minister showed no signs that the drag queen had diluted her conservative Christian views.
“You don’t reason yourself to a position over a long number of years and then suddenly in the course of a couple of conversations decide ‘oh dear I got that wrong,'” Widdecombe said in her exit interview, adding, “Whether people agreed with me or not isn’t the point. I exercised my freedom to say what is unfashionable.”
Social media exploded with support for Act’s win, with many saying it was a step in the right direction for LGBTQ acceptance.
Drag queens winning Drag Race is annual. A drag queen winning Big Brother is historical.
— Trixie Mattel (@trixiemattel) February 3, 2018
— Bianca Del Rio (@TheBiancaDelRio) February 3, 2018
— michelle visage (@michellevisage) February 3, 2018
— Attitude (@AttitudeMag) February 3, 2018
Act gained notoriety for her fashion malfunction entering the house, her bromance with former The Apprentice UK contestant Andrew Brady, and for speaking about LGBTQ rights throughout her time on Celebrity Big Brother.
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