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Drag Queen Laganja Estranja Comes Out as Transgender

During her time on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Laganja Estranja was responsible for some of her season’s most iconic lines and one of the most sickening Drag Race entrances of all time. In the seven years since season six aired, Laganja has appeared on So You Think You Can Dance, released seven singles and continued to work as a fierce advocate for cannabis legalization. This week, the drag queen and choreographer came out as a transgender woman.

 

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In a conversation with Entertainment Weekly, Laganja, who goes by Jay Jackson in her personal life, discussed the decision to come out publicly during Pride month.

“Being a drag queen in itself is inherently political and being trans is even more so, “ she said.  “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 … I’m going to be part of a wave of change,”

In light of the more than 100 anti-trans bills introduced in state legislatures across the country this year, Laganja has partnered with FOLX, an organization that provides healthcare for trans people. She hopes that her visibility can help those struggling to accept their gender identity see how liberating transitioning can be.

“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” she said.

As a drag queen, Laganja has been “presenting as female” for a long time, but now she feels she can be truly herself on and off stage.

“I do want to be able to express this at all times,” she said. “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.”

 

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A post shared by Jay Jackson (@laganjaestranja)

Laganja will continue to go by Laganja Estranja in drag, and Jay around her loved ones. She told EW that she is still exploring what physical transition means for her.

“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,” she said. “The dressing part? I’ve got it down, but that’s not what makes you a woman.”

Read the full interview here.

Author

  • Eleanor Bishop

    Eleanor Bishop (she/her) is a writer and editor with a passion for covering art and culture, profiling interesting people and learning about the entertainment industry. She is a recent graduate from Ohio University, where she studied journalism and history. When not writing, she's probably listening to Carly Rae Jepsen or The Mountain Goats.

Eleanor Bishop (she/her) is a writer and editor with a passion for covering art and culture, profiling interesting people and learning about the entertainment industry. She is a recent graduate from Ohio University, where she studied journalism and…

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