Laganja Spoke To Instinct On The Public Response To Her Announcement

Pride month consistently brings stories of courage and strength throughout our community, and this June is no different. Recording artist, choreographer and RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni Laganja Estranja has come out as trans. She spoke with EW late yesterday telling them in part “There are so many other women around me who’ve inspired me to come forward today, and it’s because of their fight and their struggle that I’m able to really do this and say that I’m nervous, but I’m not scared”

Laganja is one of an ever-growing group of Drag Race alumni who have come out as trans either during or after their appearances on the show. Peppermint, Monica Beverly Hills, Jiggly Caliente, and Estranja’s Season 6 sister Gia Gunn all are now living lives as trans women. Speaking of Gia, Estranja says “I’m so thankful that Gia didn’t push me and has allowed me to take my time,” Estranja says to EW “Of course she’s encouraged me. From day one when we met, she was like, ‘Oh honey, you’re a woman!’ She’s known longer than I have! She allowed me to take my time and continued to be supportive…. by physically seeing her change and the fact that she’s been able to live a happy life and have lovers and have boyfriends – all the things trans women, I think, worry about when they came out – gave me hope and encouragement.”

One person who is extremely overwhelmed with the response to her announcement yesterday is Laganja Estranja herself. Laganja exclusively told me “I am extremely blown away by the response I received yesterday in coming out as trans. I knew I would be supported, but I had no idea just how fierce that love and acceptance would be. I heard from so many different people, with different backgrounds and walks of life. All with one message… “WE LOVE YOU!” It felt especially comforting hearing from so many of my trans siblings, welcoming me to the sisterhood, and letting me know that if I needed anything or had questions, they would be there for me. I truly can’t describe in words what this feels like and how much it means to me! I spent so many nights out on the road preaching to audiences about how you have to love yourself and be true to yourself, all while hiding a secret of my own. I finally feel free. I no longer have to hide in the shadows and explore my gender expression as an art form. I can be honest and say, this is me. I am a beautiful woman, on and off stage.“

Photo-Courtesy of Laganja Estranja

“I want to recognize how privileged I am in this moment. If it wasn’t for my trans siblings who came before me and fought for my rights, I do not believe my coming out day would have been so joyous. And just as I have done with my cannabis activism, I plan on creating safe spaces and more visibility for my trans community. ”

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