‘RuPaul’s Drag Race:’ How Many Transgender Queens Have Competed on the Show?

RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars |Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

The beloved reality competition show, RuPaul’s Drag Race, has stolen the hearts of fans all around the world.

With its thrilling drama and fierce contestants, this program showcases the most influential drag queens the world has to offer.

In its 10 season run, men of all backgrounds have transformed into beautiful drag queens right before our eyes, but some who do not identify as men and still compete on the show as fully transitioned women.

As RuPaul always says, “We’re all born naked and the rest is DRAG.”

How many transgender queens have competed on the show?

Many drag queens have had the opportunity to walk the main stage on RuPaul’s Drag Race since its premiere back in 2009. In its 10 seasons, only 8 drag queens have openly come out as transgender. Many of those queens have discussed their transition openly the show and some have even competed as fully transitioned women.

Sonique

This southern belle reigns from Albany, Georgia and competed on Season 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. During the 4th episode, Love was sent home after her Snatch Game impersonation fell short.

Love is known for her amazing body, southern charm, gymnastic skills and also being the first drag queen to announce that she is transgender while competing on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Love started transitioning before she was cast on the show but postponed transitioning until she was eliminated. Love mentioned on the show that she always felt like a girl born in a boy’s body. She also stated that she hated taking off her makeup after drag performances. Sonique legally changed her name to Kylie Sonique Love.

Kylie Sonique Love still enjoys performing in drag at nightclubs and is well known for her drag perfomances.

Carmen Carrera

Carmen Carrera is a transgender rights advocate who competed on Season 3 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Carrera placed fifth in her season and although she presented herself as male throughout the season, ABC News announced that Carrera was a transgender woman on May 1, 2012.

Carrera has used her platform to advocate for transgender rights. She has even spoken out against the use of derogatory terms related to the trans community. One of the terms, She-Mail, was a staple in the RuPaul’s Drag Race franchise but was soon terminated by World of Wonder.

Carmen Carrera has expressed no interest in returning to the world of drag and currently models for Wilhemina Modeling Agency. She continues to stand for transgender rights to this day.

Stacy Layne Matthews

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This drag queen knows all about southern hospitality. Stacy Layne Matthews competed on Season 3 of RuPaul’s Drag Race and unfortunately had to sashay away on the 7th episode of the season.

Matthews came out as transgender after she competed on the reality competition show.

Jiggly Caliente

Fan favorite Jiggly Caliente won over fan’s hearts with her outspoken demeanor and hilarious commentary. Caliente competed on Season 4 of RuPaul’s Drag Race and made it to 8th place before she was eliminated for continously being in the bottom two.

In 2016, Jiggly Caliente was the 5th contestant to come out as transgender and uses her platform to advocate for transgender rights and body positivity!

Kenya Michaels

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The shortest queen with the larger than life personality to compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Kenya Michaels competed on Season 4 of the hit reality show and was soon eliminated after a subpar Beyoncé impersonation.

Michaels was the third transgender queen to compete on the show and is currently focusing on her swimsuit line, Flamingoes Swimwear.

Monica Beverly Hillz

Monica Beverly Hillz competed on the fifth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Hillz was eliminated in the third episode.

Hillz was the first queen to ever announce that she was a fully transgender woman during the taping of the show. Many other queens announced that they were transgender before or after filming the show.

Gia Gunn

High-fashion drag queen Gia Gunn is best known for being a contestant on Season 6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Gunn has been very vocal about her dislike for “messy queens” and has said to be very “shady” by her fellow cast mates. Gunn was constantly getting into confrontations while on the show but was eliminated pretty early in the season after her impersonation of Kim Kardashian fell short.

Gia Gunn came out as transgender in 2017 on Trans Visibility Day. She has been very open about her transition on social media and is currently competing on RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars Season 4 as a transgender woman.

Peppermint

Peppermint competed on the ninth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race and was the runner-up to season winner Sasha Velour.

She was the first queen to enter the workroom at the beginning of the season and fans fell in love with her bubbly personality.

Peppermint was the first contestant to begin the show as an openly transgender female. She is also the only transgender queen to make it to the top four of the competition.