13 Stunning Trans Queens Who Competed on RuPaul's Drag Race and Won Our Hearts
RuPaul's Drag Race has launched the careers of nearly 200 drag queens ever since the show premiered in 2009. Throughout those years, several transgender drag performers have competed on the show (as well as its All Stars spin-off) and have shown that drag is an art form that isn't tied to any gender identity. While some came out after their time on the show, others were open about their transitioning while filming. To celebrate the contributions of these fierce queens, we're taking a look back at all the trans drag queens who have entered the Werk Room and walked down the runway of RuPaul's Drag Race.
Gigi Goode (Season 12)
Gigi competed on RuPaul's Drag Race during season 12 and has since appeared in several music videos including "I'm Ready" by Sam Smith and Demi Lovato as well as Rihanna's Savage X Fenty fashion show in 2020. In August 2021, Gigi came out as trans-nonbinary and revealed that she uses she/her pronouns.
Kylie Sonique Love (Season 2, All Stars 6)
Kylie Sonique Love made herstory on the second season of RuPaul's Drag Race when she became the first queen to come out as a trans woman on the show. In the years since then, Kylie has performed with the likes of Miley Cyrus (and even became her drag mother) and appeared in a music video with Lizzo. Kylie recently returned to TV screens for the first time in over a decade in RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars season six.
Carmen Carrera (Season 3)
After leaving RuPaul's Drag Race, Carmen Carrera's career has taken her to the runway, to the screen, and back again. She recently walked in several fashion shows during Miami Swim Week and has appeared in television series like Jane the Virgin, What Would You Do?, and Cake Boss.
Stacy Layne Matthews (Season 3)
Stacy Layne Matthews coined the word "henny" on season three of RuPaul's Drag Race — an invaluable contribution to the LGBTQ+ lexicon. She was the first Native American queen to compete on the show, and returned as a frequent guest on All Stars season four. In a tweet on International Trans Day of Visibility in 2020, she came out as a trans woman. "This is my journey . . . no one else's," she tweeted. "Rome wasn't built in a day. There is no time limit on a person's transition."
Jiggly Caliente (Season 4, All Stars 6)
Lashauwn Beyond (Season 4)
Lashauwn Beyond is often credited with one of the greatest lines in Drag Race herstory: "This is not RuPaul's Best Friend Race!" Since appearing on the fourth season, Beyond has made a name for herself as an accomplished designer, creating beautiful dresses for clients and fellow Drag Race alums.
Kenya Michaels (Season 4)
Kenya Michaels was a tiny ball of energy on RuPaul's Drag Race season four. After her run on the show, Michaels returned to Puerto Rico. She continues to live her life as a proud Afro-Latina trans woman.
Honey Mahogany (Season 5)
Honey Mahogany was a joy to watch on season five of RuPaul's Drag Race. Since her season aired, Mahogany has made a name for herself as an activist in San Francisco. In 2017, she cofounded the Compton's Transgender Cultural District — the first legally recognized transgender district in the world — to commemorate the historic uprising for LGBTQ+ rights in San Francisco in 1966.
Monica Beverly Hillz (Season 5)
Monica Beverly Hillz came out as a trans woman in an emotional moment on the main stage of season five of RuPaul's Drag Race. At the finale, she took a moment to explain the difference between being a trans woman and a drag queen. "Drag is what I do, trans is who I am," she said. Since her run on the show, she's worked as a fashion model.
Laganja Estranja (Season 6)
Laganja Estranja changed Werk Room entrances forever on season six of RuPaul's Drag Race. She recently made an equally unforgettable entrance on All Stars season six, when she competed as a lip-sync assassin against her season six sister Trinity K. Bonet. The drag superstar and cannabis advocate came out as trans in 2021.
Gia Gunn (Season 6, All Stars 4)
Gia Gunn has been a proud trans woman for years, and in 2019, she became the first out trans woman to return for RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars. She's a trained kabuki performer with a wide variety of talents in her repertoire. She even competed on the Chilean series The Switch Drag Race and finished as a runner-up. After her appearance on All Stars, Gunn sparked controversy when she started spreading misinformation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. She has since retracted her statements.
Peppermint (Season 9)
Peppermint has been an icon in the New York City drag scene for decades. Before she was on Drag Race, she impersonated the one and only Tyra Banks on America's Next Top Model and spoke about trans issues on The Daily Show. After her run on the show, Peppermint made history as the first out trans woman to star in a leading role on Broadway in the Go-Go's jukebox musical Head Over Heels. Just like her Drag Race sister Jiggly Caliente, she too appeared on Pose.