Drag Race legend Adore Delano proudly comes out as trans: ‘From dysphoria to euphoria’

Drag Race star Adore Delano has come out as trans. (Getty)

Drag Race legend Adore Delano has come out as trans in a heartwarming video on Instagram – and fans and fellow drag queens have flocked to congratulate her.

33-year-old Adore Delano rose to fame as a contestant on American Idol season seven in 2008 and as runner-up to Bianca Del Rio on season six of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Since then, they have appeared on All Stars 2, which they sensationally quit, and have amassed two million followers on Instagram.

Alongside her professional evolution, Delano has also been on a journey with her sexuality and gender identity. This all culminated in an emotional 10-minute-video uploaded on her Instagram on Wednesday (26 July), where the drag artist proudly came out as a trans woman.

Delano started the video by acknowledging the online speculation around her “body” and “gender” in recent months.

She continued: “I wanted to let everybody know that I am transitioning, and I kept it really of hush-hush the first three months because I wanted to go through the beginning stages of the puberty privately.

“I have found it has been very enlightening and probably the happiest in my adult life.”

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Delano explained that they went sober two years ago and instead of “drinking away” their problems, they decided to “deal with my feelings” as they went “from dysphoria to euphoria”.

The video also saw Delano reflect on their childhood and upbringing. She came out as bisexual aged 12 and presented as a girl throughout her high school years before finally coming out as transgender to her supportive mother.

However, when she landed the opportunity to compete on major singing competition American Idol she started to “suppress everything”.

Delano recalled: “I threw it away, I burned it. I reinvented myself into something that was so uncomfortable – it was almost like a sacrifice to get everything I wanted and it almost made sense to myself as a 16-year-old. And then I got on the show and then carried on the storyline to Drag Race.”

She explained her love for drag stemmed from being able to explore her identity, but it wasn’t enough as hiding her true self while competing on Drag Race took its toll on her. “I looked at videos of myself and I would just drink my days away because these emotions that I didn’t want to deal with were on the backseat,” she said.

Since starting on estrogen, Delano is now “loving life again”. “I’m living in my world now, and it feels so empowering, and it feels so good,” she said. “It feels so liberating.”

She added: “I feel almost like a kid going through puberty because I already have that childlike brain. But at the same time. I’m hopeful. I feel good.”

Delano stated that she will undergo gender-affirming surgery in November, and take a step back from the spotlight at the beginning of 2024 to recover.

“I’m probably going to look a little different. Not too different. But I’m, I’m gonna be moving into the euphoric parts of the book. You know, she’s a hardcover. But we’re, we’re going to be a New York bestseller with this body,” she said.

She then thanked her longtime fans for their love, adding that she would be “nowhere without my supporters”.

Delano ended the video on an empowering message, declaring: “I am transgender, my pronouns moving from me not wanting to like offend anybody and be like, you can call me whatever you want. No, I’m taking the goddamn chariot right now. I’m going by she/her.”

Fellow drag queens and her devoted followers have shared their joy in the comments of Delano’s post.

“I’m so happy for you could BURST,” Drag Race judge Michelle Visage wrote.

“Soooo happy for you beautiful,” Drag Race UK star Elektra Fence added.

Delano’s Drag Race season six sister Courtney Act commented: “I accompany you on any journey. I love you forever. My ride or die!”

“I’m so proud of you. Welcome home sis,” season nine queen Peppermint echoed.

Drag Race UK‘s Bimini wrote: “So proud of you angel. I wish you all the best and can’t wait for another Kiki with you.”

Kornbread Jeté added: “My love! Congratulations! I’m so happy for you. Enjoy this journey! And remember… warn ya friends that’s the mood swings are normal lol. It’s a right of passage and they should be honored to experience it.”

Other Drag Race stars who offer their congratulations included Jinkx Monsoon, Baby, Brooke Lynn Hytes, The Vivienne, Kitty Scott Claus, Black Peppa and countless more.