RuPaul’s Drag Race star Aja is distancing themselves from the reality TV show in order to focus on their music career.
The 25-year-old drag performer and musician from Brooklyn, New York, competed on the ninth season of the series, as well as All Stars Season 3.
Aja released their trap album Box Office this month, which features Cupcakke, Lady Luck, Rico Nasty, and Shea Coulee.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Aja said: “The weird part is having to rebrand.
“The thing I need to do is be polarising and say, ‘No, I’m a musician.’ Whether people like it or not, if you keep saying it, people will catch on.”
Aja, a fan favourite on Drag Race, added they were not afraid of losing fans by switching careers.
“I know that there are people in that bracket who are genuinely fans of me and my art.
“Those are the people who I want to follow me. If you’re just a fan of the show, you’re not a fan of me. I want to create an empire.”
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Have you checked out my debut album #BOXOffice? It’s now available on all streaming platforms and is charting all around the world! The link is in my bio 💙 This is my most dedicated collection of work to date 🔷 Check it out! Look by @diegomontoya3d Photo by @tannerabelofficial
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Aja began doing drag in Manhattan at the age of 16, participating in contests at the Stonewall Inn and other venues.
In a Facebook post, Aja summarised the events which lead to the ban, in which a trans-exclusionary radical feminist, or TERF, insisted their non-binary identity was not real.
“I got banned from Twitter because I called a a girl from a group of Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists who were all saying my gender identity wasn’t real a senseless cow,” Aja wrote on Facebook.
“But Twitter didn’t ban the 200-300 people literally devalidating my non-binary identity,” the post goes on.
“I might be blocked but guess what I still identify the same way, I am well validated and alive and happy and nobody can take that,” they added.
Aja went on to write: “Feminism can be practised by anyone who believes in equality amongst men and women.”