Trans Drag Race Queens
Entertainment

21 Drag Race Queens Who Have Come Out as Trans

Instagram @carmen_carrera, @gottmik

Category is: trans excellence.

RuPaul’s Drag Race is an institution. From its humble beginnings in 2009 to the many spin-offs including Drag U, All Stars, and Secret Celebrity Drag Race. That doesn’t include the 11 Drag Race adaptations outside the United States, including Chile, Thailand, the UK, and France. The success of the show is a credit to the queens who give it their all every season. It’s safe to say that it wouldn’t be half the show it is today without the trans queens who continue to stun us with their beauty and talent.

Despite the many iterations and the 14 seasons of the original, it wasn’t until season 9 that the first already-out trans drag queen appeared on the show. Still, though not always out at the time, many trans folks have competed on the show. Although there has only been one trans man to compete so far. The most recent season of the beloved competition is among the most trans-inclusive in the history of the franchise.

Without further ado, let’s meet the queens in alphabetical order.

Aja

Aja competed on season 9 of Drag Race, and season 3 of All Stars. In December 2021, Aja came out as trans on Instagram. She explained that she had recently begun to identify more with the feminine aspect of her identity. “I have lived my life as non-binary since 2018 […] Now living my life as a trans woman has brought out worries about different things such as my appearance.”

For a time Aja decided to take a break from drag to focus on burlesque and live performance. She decided to return after witnessing Kylie Sonique Love win All Stars. “It really hit me at that moment that Trans is who I am and drag is what I do,” she explained. “That me doing Drag has never taken away from who I am as a person”

 

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Bosco

Bosco, one of Drag Race‘s latest contestants, publicly came out as trans back in February on Twitter. The Seattle-based queen shared that she had already begun hormone therapy after her season finished filming. “I can’t really think of a better time to tell y’all so here it goes: I’m straight too,” she shared. They were referencing their fellow contestant Maddy Morphosis, the first cis straight male contestant on the show.

“I’m now in a place where I’m surrounded by love and support,” she continued. “Love from my heaven-sent boyfriend, stunning peers, and incredible friends. […] I’m trans, my pronouns out of drag are she/they. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.”

Carmen Carrera

Carmen appeared on the third season of Drag Race and made quite the impression doing so. Viewers will probably remember her very steamy lip-sync to Paula Abdul’s Straight Up with fellow contestant Raja. Carrera even finished the dance with a lipstick print on her shoulder.

The New Jersey-born model and burlesque performer began her transition when they concluded filming her season. Carrera has been an open critic of RuPaul’s use of transphobic language, despite pushback from hardcore fans.

 

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Gia Gunn

All-star queen Gia Gunn is a triple threat. She competed in the sixth season of Drag Race, the second season of The Switch Drag Race, and season 4 of All Stars. Gunn publicly came out to the public as trans in an Instagram post the year after her appearance on season 6. The post went up on Trans Day of Visibility, where Gunn shared her story in the “spirit of being visible.”

Gunn also openly spoke out against RuPaul’s views on trans and bio queens competing on the show in 2018.

 

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Gigi Goode

Gigi was a runner-up in Drag Race‘s twelfth season, despite being the youngest contestant. Her mother, Kristi, is a costume designer and the two collaborated on many of the outfits Goode wore on the show. Goode came out in August 2021, almost 2 years after filming for the show.

She shared a video on Instagram announcing that she had started hormone replacement therapy and recently underwent facial feminization surgery. Gigi spoke about how she came out as genderfluid during her season, but during a period of isolation in the pandemic, her identity shifted. She later confirmed that she identifies “as a trans-nonbinary person” who uses she/her pronouns.

 

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Gottmik

With his appearance on season 13 of Drag Race, Gottmik became the first trans man to compete. In an incredible finale, he placed as second/third runner-up. Gottmik uses she/her pronouns when portraying Gottmik, and he/him pronouns out of drag.

 

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Jasmine Kennedie

One of the latest queens to appear on Drag Race, Kennedie came out publicly in an incredibly tearful moment during her season. “I broke down because I was finally being truthful to myself,” Kennedie told EW. “No one should feel pressured to come out if they don’t want to, but if you want to be open and talk about it, you should feel the freedom to do so,” she added. “It was a euphoric moment.”

Kennedie has also spoken about the great impact her season had. “It’s a great feeling that we’ve gotten to this place,” said Kennedie in an interview with Preview. “Transitioning is not just one thing, and I think that opened a whole conversation for people.”

 

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Jiggly Caliente

Jiggly competed in two iterations of Drag Race, including season 4 of the original and season 6 of All Stars. She is also known for her recurring role as Veronica Ferocity on the FX series Pose. Caliente publicly came out as trans in 2016, going by Bianca Castro when not in drag.

Jinkx Monsoon

Born in Portland, Oregon, Jinkx Monsoon rose to drag stardom by winning season 5 of Drag Race. Monsoon was known for their unique style, incredible Snatch Game, and as the queen with narcolepsy. They identify as trans and non-binary, going by singular they/them pronouns when not in drag.

On an episode of HEY QWEEN! with Jonny McGovern, Jinkx spoke about how being on the show helped them better understand their identity. “I’ve never identified as fully male. I’ve always identified as more genderfluid or gender-ambiguous,” said Monsoon. They continued saying that they just “never knew the vocabulary to explain it” for themself.

 

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Kelly Mantle

Mantle appeared on season 6 of Drag Race but was sadly eliminated in the first episode. originally from Oklahoma, Mantle is bisexual and has appeared in many cameo roles on television.

 

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Kenya Michaels

Hailing from Dorado, Puerto Rico, Kenya is the fourth trans queen to compete on the show. She, like the trans queens before her, came out as trans after her appearance on the show.

Kenya was performing at Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida the night of the horrific attack that took the lives of 49 people. Thankfully, she survived the mass shooting and is flourishing now as a fashion designer and creative director.

 

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Kerri Colby

Another queen from the most recent season of Drag Race, Kerri Colby promised us a “very trans-tastic season” and she didn’t disappoint. Kerri is one of five trans drag queens that appeared on her season that we know of, and guided fellow contestant Kornbread with her transition.

Kerri brought the waterworks when she lovingly comforted Jasmine Kennedie. “You owe it to yourself to be happy,” she said. “To live your life as the human being that you want to be.”

 

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Kornbread “The Snack” Jeté

Another season 14 queen, Kornbread came out publicly in a post on Instagram, saying “My name is Demoria E. Williams.” She explained that she is a trans woman and shared her pronouns. “It’s been very hard hiding everything with the fear of disappointing people around me,” she continued in the post. “But talking to my 2 older brothers made me realize that I should live for me and no [one] else.”

 

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Kylie Sonique Love

Kylie’s story is one of firsts. Though not yet out publicly, she was the first trans drag queen to compete on Drag Race, appearing in season 2. She was the first Drag Race queen to come out as trans on her season and was already transitioning prior to the show. Kylie later returned to compete in season 6 of All Stars. She won her season and made herstory as the first transgender contestant to win an American series of Drag Race.

Another trans contestant, Jasmine Kennedie spoke about Kylie Sonique Love’s impact on her journey. “As someone who’s grown up watching Drag Race, Kylie was literally one of the first trans women I saw, onstage, coming out”. She continued, praising all of the trans contestants on the show. “There are just so many girls that paved the way for a moment like this to happen.”

 

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Laganja Estranja

Laganja appeared on season 6 of Drag Race, finishing in eighth place. She came out as trans in 2021 in an exclusive interview with Entertainment Weekly. “I’m not going to live my life in fear anymore,” she said.

Laganja also spoke about wanting to effect change in the world, especially in the face of the wave of anti-trans bills that continue to sweep the nation. “I’m so happy,” she later declared. “I feel so beautiful and empowered, and, finally, I’m looking back at who I am in the mirror, and it’s such an incredible feeling.”

 

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Lashauwn Beyond

Hailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Lashauwn Beyond appeared in season 4 of Drag Race. She rose to drag fame when she said, “This is not RuPaul’s Best Friend Race!” Since appearing on her season, Beyond has made a name for herself designing gorgeous dresses for clients and fellow Drag Race alums, including Latrice Royale.

Monica Beverly Hillz

Hillz was the second contestant in the show’s history to come out as trans on her season. The tearful moment was captured right before Hillz gave an incredible lip-sync performance, saving herself from elimination. Her coming out was was historic as it was a first for network television, leaving a lasting impression on many young trans folks.

 

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Peppermint

Coming out in 2012, Miss Peppermint was out long before her appearance on season 9 of Drag Race in 2017. This made her the first out queen to be cast for the show. A talented actress, Peppermint made her debut in the Broadway musical Head Over Heels, becoming Broadway’s first out trans woman to originate a lead role.

 

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Stacy Layne Matthews

Known for her poise, grace, and North Carolina charm, Stacy Layne Matthews took season 3 by storm. Matthews came out as trans after she competed on the show, and later made appearances on several episodes of All Stars 4,

Trinity “The Tuck” Taylor

Best known for her appearance on season 9 of Drag Race and All Stars season 2, Taylor came out as transgender and non-binary on Trans Day of Visibility 2022. “Years ago after starting drag I seriously questioned how I identified with my gender,” she wrote. “That’s why I altered my body starting at the age of 21 to look more feminine and also started hormone therapy for a short period.”

Like many folks trying to understand their gender identity, for Trinity, it hasn’t exactly been a simple process. “I stopped because I personally don’t know that I would be comfortable living as female with the way I’d physically look,” they said. “Everyone has their own journey I suppose.” The star went on to explain that she turned to her trans friends for guidance. “I’ve spoken with many of my friends who are trans to get their thoughts and insight over the years. I still don’t know where my journey will take me, but I am trans-NB.”

 

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Willow Pill

And so we’ve reached the last of season 14’s trans queens. Willow came out in early March in an emotional Instagram post, saying it’s taken them a long time to come to terms with their transness. “So much space has been taken up by my illness,” she continued.

“My condition has caused me so much physical and emotional pain that my body became something I always wanted out of,” she said, speaking of her diagnosis with the kidney disease cystinosis. “I know it’s not my fault, just the way I’ve learned to survive.”

She finished on a note of hope. “I’m starting to finally feel bits of happiness with my face and body, and that’s a start.”

 

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In Conclusion

It’s no secret that Drag Race has a complicated history with trans representation. Despite this many queens have been able to use the show as a means to develop a deeper understanding of their gender identity. It has even been a source of gender euphoria. Now, on the heels of the most trans season yet, it is a platform for trans queens to speak their truth.

We’re looking forward to seeing even more trans and non-binary queens slay the competition to become America’s next drag superstar.

21 Drag Race Queens Who Have Come Out as Trans
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