‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’: Kylie Sonique Love Isn’t the First Trans ‘Drag Race’ Winner
RuPaul’s Drag Race has made herstory once again. Kylie Sonique Love was crowned the winner of the sixth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, 11 years after the Georgia native first appeared on the original series.
Kylie Sonique Love won ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars’
Kylie Sonique Love first competed on season 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race under the name Sonique back in 2010. She was eliminated in the fourth episode after a less-than-stellar performance as Lady Gaga in the Snatch Game.
When she returned for season 6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars over a decade later, Kylie was ready to show that she had evolved and blossomed into a drag superstar in the years since she first appeared on our screens.
In the end, Kylie was declared the winner of the season after a heart-stopping lip sync to “Stupid Love” by Lady Gaga — a full-circle moment for her after being sent home for her Gaga impersonation. With her win, she became the first transgender queen in the history of RuPaul’s Drag Race to snatch a crown. But she’s not the only trans queen in the Drag Race universe to have a crown and scepter.
Angele Anang is the first trans ‘Drag Race’ winner
In the late 2010s, RuPaul’s Drag Race began to expand its reach beyond the US with several international spinoffs. First was the Chilean spinoff The Switch Drag Race, which featured Spanish-speaking Drag Race alumnae Gia Gunn and Kandy Ho. Drag Race Thailand was next, and since then, Drag Race has launched popular series in the UK, Canada, Holland, Australia and New Zealand, and Spain, with spinoffs in the Philippines, Italy, and Brazil on the way.
In 2019, Drag Race Thailand broke new ground for Drag Race when Angele Anang was crowned the winner of its second season, thus becoming the first-ever trans woman to win a season of Drag Race anywhere in the world. Angele also boasts the best track record of any queen in the history of Drag Race around the world, with six total challenge wins.
‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ celebrates drag queens of all genders
Angele Anang’s win came after RuPaul faced criticism for saying that trans women who had begun medically transitioning wouldn’t be allowed on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
In the few years since then, RuPaul has changed his tune on the kinds of competitors that he welcomes on the show, both in the US and in other franchises. Gia Gunn was the first out trans woman to return for RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars in 2019. In 2021, RuPaul’s Drag Race welcomed the first-ever trans man to the werkroom, Gottmik. Season 6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars featured two trans queens, Kylie Sonique Love and Jiggly Caliente. And season 2 of Drag Race Holland featured its first trans queen, the current reigning Miss Continental, Vanessa Van Cartier. Many of the queens who have competed on various Drag Race franchises identify as non-binary or genderqueer.
In fall 2021, Drag Race is set to make herstory yet again on season 3 of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. Victoria Scone, a drag queen based in Cardiff, Wales, will become the first cis woman and first lesbian to compete on any version of Drag Race anywhere in the world.