Former “RuPaul’s Drag Race” contestant Laganja Estranja is ready to live her truth as an out, proud trans woman.
Estranja, who appeared on the sixth season of the popular reality show, opened up about her transition in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. While she was “nervous” about coming out, she was “not scared,” having drawn inspiration from other women whose own struggles encouraged her to come forward.
“I’m not going to live my life in fear anymore,” she said.
In the interview, Estranja says that she has openly identified as a trans woman with those in her inner circle for the past year, but that she has only recently come out to her family. Although presenting as a woman in her drag persona did help her ease into the transition, especially with regards to her public persona, she was careful to note a distinction between her drag and trans identities, telling the publication that her transition was largely personal.
“Glam doesn’t make you a woman; it makes you a woman to people outside, in the world … gender is performative, and what we wear is an extension of what we feel inside,” she says. “That’s the real truth here: once this is out and once people know, I’m going to be more free to explore what it means to be a woman on the inside. The dressing part? I’ve got that down, but that’s not what makes you a woman.”
She also addresses her decision to come out during Pride, saying that coming out as trans is fundamentally a political act that will ideally lead to societal change.
“As more people like Elliot Page [come] forward as trans, like Demi Lovato [come] forward as nonbinary, the more the landscape can change, and the more that people have to accept the truth. Gender is a construct, and we’re all tearing it apart,” she says. “I’m going to be part of a wave of change.”