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Adore Delano Comes Out As Trans & Opens Up About Transition Plans

Adore Delano Comes Out As Trans & Opens Up About Transition Plans

Adore Delano
Santiago Felipe/FilmMagic

The Drag Race star talks about her lifelong journey with gender.

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Adore Delano has something to say: She’s transgender and she’s euphoric.

The Drag Race fan favorite opened up in a moving video on her Instagram today about her identity and her plans for the future.

“There’s no way to start this video or this announcement or whatever without being awkward as hell,” she began, explaining that it was time to share her story because there has been a lot of talk recently about her appearance, body, and gender.

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

Adore then opened up about how her journey with identity and gender is something she’s been on since she was young. “It really starts back from when I was a little kid, just not feeling like I belonged anywhere, at all,” she shared. “Didn’t know what this body was that God gave me thought that I would just make the best of it. I thought that I would just work with what God gave me and be okay with that for a decade. But it was just not enough for my mental stability. And the feelings of just being an absolute other gender.”

She explained that those feelings of dysphoria led to her turning to substances to send those feelings “back into purgatory.” Today, she’s straight-edge sober and finally really taking care of herself and facing her feelings head-on. “I feel beautiful. I feel like the chemical imbalance or whatever it was in my head is now leveled,” Adore said. “This is a feeling from dysphoria to euphoria, I’m not completely there. We’ll get into that in a bit. But I’m on the Stairway to Heaven right now.”

Adore also told the story about how she came out at 12 as bisexual, then later gay, and then again as transgender. She began living her life as a girl in high school. She praised how her mother, despite potential cultural blocks, accepted her and let her flourish. “She let me wear makeup, wear my corsets and my crop tops and my booty shorts and live the Freebird that I felt inside,” she shared.

But all that changed when she got the opportunity to do American Idol. “I suppressed everything. I threw it away, I burned it. I tried to reinvent myself. It’s something that I’m really good at doing at the Scorpio rising, but I reinvented myself into something that was so uncomfortable. It was almost like a sacrifice in order to get what I wanted career-wise. And it made sense to me at the time as a 16-year-old. And then I got on the show. And then that carried on to the storyline and to Drag Race,” she recalled.

After American Idol, Adore says she went back to living in the binary, though more femme-presenting. Now when she looks back at videos of herself at the time, all she sees is the sadness. “I look at videos of myself and I would just drink my days away. Because of these emotions that I did not want to deal with,” she acknowledged.

But now Adore’s ready to take her life back and fully be herself. “I am on my third month now on estrogen. And I’m not kidding, when I tell you, I am so chill. I love life. Again, I feel almost like a kid going through puberty because I already have that childlike brain. But at the same time. I’m hopeful. I feel good,” she said.

As for why she needed to open up now, Adore explains that she sacrificed some of her privacy when she became a public figure as a teen. “In this video for you guys, I really just want to open my heart to you, and let you on this journey,” she said, choking up. “I’m going to be having surgery in November. So I’m probably going to look a little different. Not too different. But I’m, I’m gonna be moving into the euphoric parts of the book. You know, she’s a hardcover. But we’re, we’re going to be a New York bestseller with this body.”

he also expressed so much love for her supporters, crediting them for helping her to get to where she is today. “I wouldn’t be nowhere without my supporters. And I know that you guys know that. I know that. And I’ll die knowing that like you guys have my heart,” she said.

Adore closed out the video by talking about her plans for the future and how people can expect to see her appearance to continue to change — and with a powerful message of pride. “I am transgender, my pronouns moving from me not wanting to like offend anybody and be like, you can call me whatever you want. No, I’m taking the goddamn chariot right now. I’m going by she/her.

Congratulations, Adore, we have nothing but love for you. And we’re not alone. Her comments were immediately flooded with love from her fellow Drag Race alums. “Love you angel,” wrote Raja.

“So proud of you mama,” commented Monica Beverly Hillz.

“So proud of you angel. I wish you all the best and can’t wait for another Kiki with you,” added Bimini.

“I’m so proud of you. Welcome home sis,” commented Peppermint.

“Absolutely beautiful , you will always be a beautiful person inside and out . Love and support you,” added Coco Montrese.

“Love love love this,” wrote Gigi Goode.

“Texting you princesa!!!! I’m so happy for you could BURST,” said Michelle Visage.

And so many more!

Watch Adore’s powerful video below. 

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Rachel Shatto

EIC of PRIDE.com

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.