Drag Race Star Laganja Estranja Comes Out as Transgender
'Drag Race' Star Laganja Estranja Comes Out as Transgender
"I'm not going to live my life in fear anymore."
"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 and say that I'm nervous, but I'm not scared," said the 32-year-old. "I'm not going to live my life in fear anymore."
Estranja revealed that her drag journey has allowed her to express her feminity over the years, but she finally realized it was more than just a performance last summer during quarantine when her 2-week haircut schedule was interrupted.
"When my real hair started growing, I remember it touching the back of my neck, and that's funny, because wigs have touched the back of my neck forever, but it was my real hair; my real truth was physically touching me in a way."
Now, she wants "to be able to express this at all times. I just got my haircut - a very feminine cut - and in one week already, my life has changed. I'm able to come off stage and take my makeup off and still see a beautiful woman in the mirror. It's powerful."
She revealed she came out to her friends last year, but it took some time for her to be comfortable sharing with the world. Watching her season 6 Drag Race sister Gia Gunn, come out and live her life as a trans woman was a big inspiration for Estranja. "She allowed me to take my time and continued to be supportive.... by physically seeing her change and the fact that she's been able to live a happy life and have lovers and have boyfriends - all the things trans women, I think, worry about when they came out - gave me hope and encouragement."
Estranja hopes her story can give others permission to explore their gender and deconstruct the binary so many of us bound ourselves in. "As more people like Elliot Page coming forward as trans, like Demi Lovato coming forward as nonbinary, the more the landscape can change, and the more that people have to accept the truth," she said. "Gender is a construct, and we're all tearing it apart."
"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."
Thank you for sharing your story with the world Laganja!