Drag Race UK vs the World’s Arantxa opens up on returning as her trans self

Arantxa Castilla-La Mancha

Drag Race UK vs the World’s second eliminated queen, Arantxa Castilla-La Mancha, has opened up about the joy of returning to the franchise as her authentic trans self.

Arantxa, who first appeared on fans’ screens in 2021 for the first season of Drag Race España, sashayed away this week after being eliminated by challenge winner La Grande Dame.

Although the Spanish drag performer is gutted to have departed the competition so early, she is thrilled to have finally made her on-screen debut as a trans woman.

Arantxa Castilla-La Mancha
Arantxa Castilla-La Mancha got the chance to return to Drag Race as a trans woman. (BBC/World of Wonder)

In December 2022, Arantxa took to social media to tell fans for the first time that she is a transgender woman and her pronouns are she/her.

When the drag star first appeared on Drag Race España, she had identified as a non-binary person, which she said made her feel “most comfortable” at the time.

Returning to the Drag Race franchise has allowed Arantxa to achieve her “one goal”; to finally appear on television as her most authentic self.

You may like to watch

In an interview with Gay Times, Arantxa said: “I don’t want to get emotional about this, but the first time I did Drag Race I wasn’t comfortable at all with myself. I had anxiety, depression and I did not know what the hell was going on with me. I didn’t understand. 

“One day filming I broke down in tears in Killer Queen’s lap. That was the moment I realised I’m a woman, and that I needed to [transition].”

She continued: “Coming back into the werkroom, obviously it’s a different set and people, but it is the same essence so I got really emotional. 

“Last time I was on a TV set, I was crying every single day because I did not feel good about myself. Right now, I’m happy, I’m laughing, I’m enjoying this, I’m feeling comfortable with myself. 

“I’m just so happy that it gets across through the camera, that you’re seeing how happy I am, because I was.”

So even though Arantxa’s Drag Race UK vs the World journey may have been short-lived, she achieved what she set out to do.

She told the magazine: “I came into this season with one goal only. It was not to win the crown or the money – I had no idea we were getting money – it was to have fun and enjoy being on TV for the first time, because I did not the first time I was on Drag Race.

Not only that, but Arantxa has had an overwhelming impact on Drag Race fans during her brief appearance on the series, who were devastated to see her go.

“I’m incredibly proud of Arantxa and I really hope she knows that a lot of people love her so much,” tweeted one viewer. “She deserves the world and I wish her the best.”

“I wasn’t ready to see Arantxa go she’s such a sweetheart I love her so much,” another concurred.

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs The World continues on Fridays ay 9pm on BBC Three and will be available on iPlayer.

Please login or register to comment on this story.