Brian McCook, aka Katya Zamolodchikova, spoke on his Instagram about mental health on Monday.


Brian McCook, aka drag queen Katya Zamolodchikova, speaks out on mental health

The former 'RuPual's Drag Race' contestant spoke to fans in French.


Kris Seavers


Published Jan 15, 2018   Updated May 22, 2021, 4:39 am CDT

Drag queens are outspoken on everything from sex to drugs to racism, but it’s rare a queen takes the time to explain her mental health to fans.

Brian McCook, who’s better known by drag moniker Katya Zamolodchikova, took to Instagram Monday to explain why he’s taking “a little break” from drag performance in the name of self-care. He spoke in French, but Redditor Designerine translated the message for English fans.

“You have to understand me,” McCook said in the live Instagram video. “In the future, I need to take more vacations, I’m a person, I’m a human.”

Brian McCook, aka Katya Zamolodchikova, spoke on his Instagram about mental health on Monday.

McCook came into the spotlight as a contestant in the seventh season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. After the show, he spoke about recovering from drug addiction and returned for the second season of RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars, placing as a runner-up. With fellow drag queen Trixie Mattel, McCook hosts the Trixie & Katya Show on Viceland, a comedy variety show where the two discuss topics ranging from porn to death. 

In his Instagram story, McCook spoke about the fatigue that comes from working as a drag performer and said he needs to “choose carefully” the projects he participates in.

“I’m tired, I’m exhausted, my brain doesn’t work anymore, because of the drugs, because of all the gigs,” McCook said. “I need to take vacations, like a normal person. The people who are listening will understand, can understand. And that’s all I wanted to say, that’s all.”

Fans on Instagram and Reddit posted their support for McCook.

“I really hope he gets better, being Katya must be really hard when you are dealing with addiction and anxiety…” Redditor_analien_ said in a comment. “And I wish Katya’s fans let her take this deserved time for himself without turning it into a personal drama.”

H/T Reddit

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*First Published: Jan 15, 2018, 10:44 pm CST