Drag Race queens keep coming out as trans. Here are their stories.

At first glance, season 16 of RuPaul’s Drag Race was the first season in a long time without any trans representation. But that changed as of today, when fan favorite Amanda Tori Meating came out as a t-girl.

In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Amanda opened up about how Drag Race helped her realize her gender identity, especially when filming ended and she had to return to her non-drag persona.

“It was kind of jarring to go from that environment where everyone is calling me Amanda and she/her-ing me, to being called by my government name again, and he/him,” she said. “I was like, this is very much not correct for me. That experience helped push me out of the nest a little bit and crack the egg.”

Though Amanda says she’s officially started transitioning, she doesn’t yet consider herself a trans woman. “I feel like that’s a bit of an achievement that I’ve yet to score, but I refer to myself as a t-girl at the moment,” she said.

Amanda took to social media to celebrate coming out. “Only performing this for the rest of the year,” she wrote, accompanied by a link to a certain RuPaul song that only trans folks should touch.

With her transition, Amanda joins the ranks of Drag Race’s trans royalty. She’s in very good company: Last summer, season 6 finalist Adore Delano came out as a trans woman, saying she’s now using she/her pronouns and would be undergoing gender affirming surgery late in 2023.

“I wanted to let everybody know that I am transitioning, and I kept it really of hush-hush the first three months because I wanted to go through the beginning stages of the puberty privately,” Delano said in her coming out video on Instagram. “I’ve found that it’s been very enlightening and has made me probably the happiest I’ve ever been in my adult life.”

Other recent queens to come out include season 5’s Jade Jolie, who came out with a social media post in October, and season 4’s Madame La Queer, who changed her drag name to Madame Cassandra Uzumaki LaQueer to reflect her new out-of-drag identity. She came out just last week, also sharing her story with Entertainment Weekly.

“It’s now or never,” LaQueer said. “I think this serves for me to be a voice for those that have persuaded themselves into not pursuing their truths and let time take over. It’s never too late to come out and live your true experience and be yourself and be authentic. There’s nothing like feeling loved in your own skin.”

Then, of course, there are Drag Race’s trans winners, including Sasha Colby, Kylie Sonique Love, and Willow Pill, as well as its out and proud trans contestants like Kerri Colby, Gottmik, and Peppermint.

This wealth of trans representation is a far cry from the early days of Drag Race. As recently as 2018, RuPaul infamously said that she would “probably not” allow a trans woman on the show who had medically transitioned. Thankfully, Ru has seen the error of her ways, and trans queens and Drag Race now go hand in hand. 

RuPaul’s Drag Race season 16 airs on Fridays at 8pm ET on MTV.

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