15 trans RuPaul's Drag Race stars who've shared their coming out stories
1 April 2022, 16:26
Just a few of the iconic trans and non-binary contestants who have come out of RuPaul's Drag Race.
RuPaul's Drag Race would be nothing without the iconic trans artists who've competed on the show over the past 15 years.
Ever since Drag Race debuted in 2009, the series has acted as a platform for some incredible trans performers. As it stands, over 40 openly trans, non-binary and gender-fluid stars have competed on the show and season 14 has just made herstory with a record-breaking five openly trans contestants: Bosco, Jasmine Kennedie, Kerrie Colby, Kornbread and Willow Pill.
With that in mind, here are a few trans and non-binary Drag Race contestants who've shared their coming out stories.
1) Kylie Sonique Love
Kylie Sonique Love was the first openly trans contestant to ever compete on RuPaul's Drag Race. Kylie came 9th in season 2 and came out as a trans woman during the show's reunion episode. Kylie said: "I've always been a girl. I started doing drag and there was just something about it that wasn't enough."
She then explained: "I went to a doctor and he put me on testosterone blockers and then moved me to hormones and my levels are even. I've never been happier in my whole life."
Kylie, of course, later went on to compete on RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars season 6 and won the entire show.
Kylie uses she/her pronouns in and out of drag.
2) Carmen Carrera
Carmen Carrera may have taken a step back from drag but the 36-year-old icon remains one of the series' most iconic stars. Carmen came 5th in season 3 and she came out publicly as a trans woman in 2012. Talking to SELF, Carmen said: "I love the fact that I am able to not be so in mind. It will drive you insane when you're not comfortable in your own skin."
Carmen has also called out RuPaul directly for anti-trans slurs used on Drag Race in the past, in particular, the series' old "She-Mail" segment. Taking to Facebook in 2014, Carmen said: "Shemale is an incredibly offensive term, and this whole business about if you can tell whether a woman is biological or not is getting kind of old."
Carmen has since become a hugely successful model as well as a performer and a reality TV star.
Carmen uses she/her pronouns.
3) Jiggly Caliente
Jiggy Caliente came 8th in season 4 and 12th in All Stars season 6 respectively. Jiggly publicly came out in 2016 and goes by the name Bianca Castro out of drag. Speaking on Hey Kween, Jiggly said: "It was just a turning point this year where I told myself, let me just say it, so the rumours and the questions can end. I felt like a weight was off my shoulders."
As well as working as a drag queen, Jiggly is also an actress who is best known for playing Veronica Ferocity in Pose.
Jiggly uses she/her pronouns in and out of drag.
4) Jinkx Monsoon
Jinx Monsoon won RuPaul's Drag Race season 5 and they publicly came out as non-binary in 2017. Talking on Hey Kween, Jinx said: "I’ve never identified as fully male. I’ve always identified as more gender-fluid or gender-ambiguous, but I never knew the vocabulary to explain it for myself."
They added: "Embracing that meant that I started to embrace the fact that there are a lot of people that really like gender-fluid people. Now I’m meeting all these hot guys who would have been into me this whole time if I just knew how to find them!"
Jinx uses she/her pronouns in drag and they/them pronouns out of drag.
5) Monica Beverly Hillz
Monica Beverly Hillz came in 12th place on Drag Race season 5 and she historically came out as a trans woman during the elimination in episode 2. Having not told production or any of the other contestants, Monica said: "I feel I'm not here. I've just been holding a secret in and trying so hard. I'm not just a drag queen – I'm a transgender woman."
Speaking about the experience with The Huffington Post, Monica revealed: "I was really shocked by the support I had on set. At first I felt so alone, but after I came out I felt so much support." After making a name for herself in drag, Monica predominantly works as a model now.
Monica uses she/her pronouns.
6) Laganga Estranga
Laganga Estranga came in 8th on season 6 and she publicly came out as a trans woman in 2021. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, she said: "There are so many other women around me who've inspired me to come forward today, and it's because of their fight and their struggle that I'm able to really do this. I'm not going to live my life in fear anymore."
She also said: "I'm so happy. 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. If anyone is struggling with it, breathe and accept it, because once you do, it's incredibly empowering."
Laganga uses she/her pronouns in and out of drag.
7) Gia Gunn
Gia Gunn came in 10th on season 6 and 8th on All Stars season 4. She publicly came out as a trans woman via Instagram in 2017. She stated: "I thought I would dedicate today in the spirit of being visible to share my transition with all of you. I have been on hormone replacement therapy now for almost about a year. I identify as female, and I indeed am transgender."
She continued: "Thank you all so much to each and every single one of you who have continuously supported me on my journey,” she added. “I can only hope the best for each and every single one of my trans brothers and sisters."
Gia uses she/her pronouns in and out of drag.
Peppermint was the runner-up on RuPaul's Drag Race season 9 and she was the first contestant to have come out as trans before competing on the show. Discussing being openly trans during the competition with The Advocate, Peppermint said: "I had already started my medical transition, and so it was really like, "Yeah, I'm trans, and what?"
She added: "I mean, I have been in tears. I have been there, but I happened to have done it at a different time and place. I was in my apartment. I was alone. So by the time I got to Drag Race, anyone who really knew me and actually knew me personally already knew. There was nothing to cry about at that point."
Peppermint uses she/her pronouns in and out of drag.
9) Gigi Goode
Gigi Goode was a runner-up on season 12 and she came out as trans and non-binary in 2021. Discussing her journey in an Instagram video, Gigi said: "If the world hadn't shut down and I was going on tour, I wouldn't have been able to process it further because of the sheer fact that I had this much time to myself and to my thoughts."
Gigi then added: "I had a lot of realizations... one of those realizations came from watching the show Veneno. Not only the story but the characters and the actresses in that show completely opened my mind up to who I am and I guess who I'm supposed to be. To me, that is a trans-nonbinary person."
Gigi uses she/her pronouns in and out of drag.
Gottmik is the first trans man to ever compete on Drag Race. He came in third place on season 13. Speaking to Gay Times about their gender, Gotttmik said: "I’ve known my whole life that something felt different. Society told me I was just a tom-boy, but it wasn’t until I was 18 when I finally got the right group of friends around me that allowed me be myself."
Discussing his transition, Gottmik said: "Transitioning is hard. Thankfully I have the most amazing friends I could have ever asked for that make every step seem a bit easier. I’ve never been happier in my entire life and I’m so proud of where I am today."
Gottmik uses she/her pronouns in drag and he/him pronouns out of drag.
11) Kerri Colby
Kerri Colby came in 9th on Drag Race season 14 and was out as a trans woman when she joined the show. Discussing her coming out journey with Gay Times, Kerri said: "I found myself and started my own trans journey during the pandemic in 2020. That was when I officially came out and started my journey showcasing who I am."
She added: "The trans sisterhood is so beautiful because it really is an unspoken sorority of an entire group of individuals, who completely relate to everything you’re dealing with. You usually feel so alone - but you are not because each one of these people has gone through – or are going through – finding themselves."
Kerri uses she/her pronouns in and out of drag.
12) Kornbread "The Snack" Jeté
Kornbread came in 12th on Drag Race season 14 after having to withdraw from the competition due to an ankle injury. Like Kerri, Kornbread entered Drag Race as an out trans woman. Speaking about her transition with Entertainment Weekly, she said: "When I got to Drag Race, it was definitely me starting everything, and Kerri walked me through a lot of it."
Kornbread then continued: "She's dealt with every last one of my mood swings; she’s dealt with every last one of my body dysmorphia moments. She’s literally walked me through so much of my transition. No one understands how much she’s done for me personally. She’s not my drag mom, but I tell her she’s definitely partly my trans mom."
Kornbread uses she/her pronouns in and out of drag.
Bosco is currently a contestant on Drag Race season 14 and she publicly came out in February while the season was on air. Taking to Instagram, Bosco said: "After filming wrapped, I began focusing on figuring out what medical transitioning would look like for me. I started HRT after getting back from Drag Race. I also plan to start exploring some surgical options."
She added: "I've spent my adult life working in the food industry and have never felt financially secure enough to start this process. Honestly, I was also flat out terrified of how I'd be treated. I still am. I'm now in a place where I'm surrounded by love and support. I'm not quite where I want to be yet, but I'm starting to see her peak through more and more."
Bosco uses she/her pronouns in drag and she/they pronouns out of drag.
14) Jasmine Kennedie
Jasmine Kennedie came in 8th on Drag Race season 14 and she came out as trans during an episode of Untucked. Talking about the moment with Entertainment Weekly, Jasmine said: "It was the first time I ever said it out, publicly, or even to myself. I hope people realize that it's not easy to talk about. No one has the right plan or time to talk about it."
Jasmine went on to say: "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. It was a euphoric moment. It was powerful and invigorating."
Jasmine uses she/her pronouns in and out of drag.
15) Willow Pill
Willow Pill is currently competing as a contestant on Drag Race season 14. They opened up about questioning their gender identity during Untucked and has since come out publicly as trans. Taking to Instagram, they explained: "I'm still not sure where I fit on the spectrum, for now I just say trans femme, but I also don't have to know now."
The added: "I want to share this because I've felt so lonely keeping this to myself. I'm so tired of holding my pain in. For now, I go by Willow in and out of drag with they/she pronouns, though I know this experience isn't linear. I'm starting to finally feel bits of happiness with my face and body and that's a start."
As mentioned above, Willow uses they/she pronouns in and out of drag.