Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland drag queen Robyn Diamonds told to kill herself by online troll

Robyn Diamonds on Ireland’s Got Talent
Robyn Diamonds on Ireland’s Got Talent
Show judges Jason Byrne, Denise Van Outen, Michelle Visage and Louis Walsh
Leona O'Neill

By Leona O'Neill

A drag artist who reached the semi-finals of Ireland's Got Talent has spoken out against online trolls after being told to "go kill himself" on Instagram.

Aaron Deery, aka Robyn Diamonds, set the show alight with rousing medleys from Abba and The Spice Girls.

The 25-year-old from Londonderry was eliminated in last Saturday's semi-final by judges Denise Van Outen, Jason Byrne, Michelle Visage and Louis Walsh.

He said appearing on the programme was "just brilliant", adding that he was shocked to get as far as the semi-finals.

Following his return to Derry, the Waterside man said he has been overwhelmed by support from the public.

But he also received some negative comments online, including the one about taking his own life.

"Someone messaged me and told me to go and kill myself," he explained.

"I looked at it and thought that it was disgusting.

"They probably thought I was an easy target because I was eliminated and they sent me a message to get in my head even more.

"Luckily I have developed a thick skin in my time as a 'queen' and I can brush it off like a speck of glitter on my shoulder. But what if I didn't?

"This is not okay. What if I had a weaker mindset and listened to that rubbish?

"Suicide is at a high level in this town and in Northern Ireland and that person should be ashamed of themselves."

Aaron said he was speaking out because he refuses to be bullied.

He added: "No one is going to tell me to go and kill myself. No one on this Earth will stop me doing drag, singing and being my authentic self.

"I am not going to stand for it and no one else should either."

The north west is one of the worst areas for suicide here.

He added: "Suicide is so high, particularly in Derry and in Northern Ireland. It is disgusting and people should not be acting like this.

"I know people who have taken their own lives. Derry is such a small town. When anyone has taken their own lives you see the people left behind and it is just heartbreaking. It is something that I try strongly to prevent.

"When I'm doing drag I try to create this really happy-go-lucky, beautiful and positive character.

"I want to bring positivity into people's lives and a lot of people say that when I walk into a room they feel happy and they want to get their picture taken with me. They say that I bring them joy and happiness, and that is what I'm about."

Despite the vitriol, Aaron said he hopes the person who sent him the horrific message finds peace.

He said: "I would pray for the person that sent me that message.

"At the end of the day, I don't know what that person is going through themselves, they could be going through a hard time and therefore are out trying to bring people down with them.

"I would say to them to try and work on themselves and stop trying to attack people who are out trying to make something of themselves.

"I would say that the issue of suicide is something that is not funny.

"It is serious and it is sad. If they could look the families in the eye who have lost people to suicide they might think differently. It is absolutely heartbreaking to watch the people who are left behind and how much it affected the person going through it. It brings me great sadness."

If you or someone you know is affected by issues raised in this story, contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or Lifeline on 080 8808 8000.

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