Before going viral, a drag show brightens the day of an ailing grandma.
The video for ‘You Are the Sunshine of My Life’ has gone viral on TikTok and Instagram.
As Eric Vance learned that his grandmother had only a few years left to live, he desired to share a piece of himself with her that would bring her joy.
As a result, the 28-year-old drag artist from Ottawa, who goes by the stage name Sunshine Glitterchild, took his show to the hospital where she had been admitted for palliative treatment.
“I’m indebted to her,” Vance said, lip-syncing Shirley Bassey’s rendition of Stevie Wonder’s You Are the Sunshine of My Life before launching into Abba’s Dancing Queen.
Sunshine had always been a major hit with Vance’s grandmother, Lyse Fournier, but Vance explained that the fact that it was now a part of his stage name made it sound right. He quickly memorized the lyrics in order to perform it the next day.
While his grandmother slept, Vance’s mother set up a speaker and disco ball in the den, and he hid behind a curtain until she awoke.
They filmed the performance to give to family members as far away as Australia, but Vance was moved by Fournier’s reaction and wanted to share the video on social media.
Vance wrote in the post: “I adore you, grandmother. Thank you for loving and respecting me for who I am, for welcoming my queerness, and for always giving me the best clothes and gifts.”
The TikTok video surpassed one million views in less than 24 hours. Thousands more people have viewed the video on Instagram.
“I was astounded,” Vance said. “I knew it was a special moment, and it was particularly meaningful to me and my family…. I suppose it struck a chord with people.”
Vance described himself as fortunate to have a loving family who encouraged him to accept drag as a performance art form.
“A number of other drag queens expressed a desire to share their art with family members.”
Vance mentioned that his grandmother’s medical condition has improved somewhat. She has congenital heart disease, kidney failure, and diabetes, and Vance said he only wants her to be as healthy as possible for the remainder of her life.
“You desire poutine? You have it. You are free to eat whatever you want “‘He said.