Drag Race star Eureka O’Hara comes out as a proud trans woman: ‘I know who I am without question’
RuPaul’s Drag Race star Eureka O’Hara has opened up about her journey to transitioning after officially coming out as a trans woman.
In an interview with People, the reality TV star described her relief at finding peace after years of struggling with her identity.
“I’m blessed now, because I know who I am without question,” she explained.
“It’s been really magical and it’s been probably the easiest transitional and coming out journey that I’ve ever been on. I hope my story teaches people that gender is a journey, and we are ever-evolving people.”
Eureka (who uses she/they pronouns), explained that the decision to begin her transition came after meeting some remarkable trans individuals while filming season three of HBO Max’s Emmy award-winning show We’re Here.
Over the course of the show, Eureka, along with fellow Drag Race superstars Bob the Drag Queen and Shangela, travel to isolated towns in America to put on a one-night-only drag show.
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While filming episodes in Florida for season three earlier this year, Eureka met Mandy, who transitioned later in life, and Dempsey, a young trans girl, who inspired her to reexamine her identity.
“Hearing the story of Mandy regretting losing all that time — and all the regret and the pain that she was going through during the time of not fully being herself — was really important to me,” she recalled.
“When I left Mandy’s house that day, I started spiralling. It just had me searching my mind, ‘What is happening, what is going on?’ Then I just answered myself: ‘I’m trans. I’m a trans woman.’ It just clicked”.
Eureka, who has competed on three seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race to date and reached the finale twice, added that she felt that now was the right time to transition.
“Now I’m at 31 years old, and I’m like, ‘Well I don’t want to be like Mandy and finally transition at 70 to be happy. I don’t want to lose 40 years — I want to spend those 40 years happy.”
Eureka previously identified as a gay cisgender man, then lived as a transgender woman from ages 18 to 23, before eventually identifying as non-binary.
Speaking to PinkNews earlier this year, the Drag Race star opened up about the time she spent as a trans woman in her early teens.
“I went through a lot growing up in school,” she explained.
“I went through bullying and physical harassment. When I lived [as a] trans [woman] from 18 to 23, in Tennessee, I had to rethink my life because I was being sexually assaulted and bullied, harangued and harassed.”
“I went through a lot and it put a lot of fear in me, which I’ve had to work through and luckily, I’ve been able to.”
Eureka also told People that filming We’re Here had allowed her to come out on her own terms without navigating other people’s opinions about her identity.
“It was like I got to decide for the first time ever in my life how I came out, ’cause I never had that experience before,” she continued.
“I was always called gay before I ever even knew what gay was; when I wanted to transition before, I was told by the other people in my life and trans people that I was trans before I really understood what it was. This time it was like, I get to do it my way.”
She also recalled how drag had given her an outlet for self-expression and provided solace before embracing her trans identity.
“Drag’s been so important to me because that’s where I was able to be a woman for so long. And it has just been a safe place for me to get to know myself,” she explained.
“It also taught me how to be confident, because the confidence that I learned in drag I was able to eventually start using in my everyday life”.
According to People, Eureka is in the process of changing her gender markers to female, and has already legally changed her name Eureka D. Huggard, a nod to both her drag and birth names. She has also been on hormone replacement therapy for seven months and is considering facial feminisation surgery and breast augmentation.
“It’s hard being a woman — that’s the truth! It’s even harder being a trans woman because you have to put in 10 times more effort to present female. It doesn’t come as naturally,” she said.
“There’s so many things that we have to do to ready ourselves for the ideal female visual that society wants to see so that we can feel accepted in society or in public. That’s probably the hardest part of being trans.”
Eureka, who has always been unapologetically herself, knows that she has support behind her.
“What gives me hope is that the harder bigotry and discrimination, the louder the people are that to fight and stand up and show up,” she said. “People are rooting for us.”
True to form, the drag community has responded to Eureka’s news with praise and solidarity.
“So proud” commented the official RuPaul’s Drag Race Instagram account underneath her announcement, while Michelle Visage wrote: “Authenticity, mawma”.
Fellow Drag Race alumni have been showing Eureka the love.
“Yes ma’am. Welcome home lady!” wrote Peppermint.
“So proud of you” added Laganja Estranja.
Willam also added a congratulatory note: “Can we please do a gender reveal party! U know all our friends love an excuse to turn a look.”
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