Trans

Drag Race royalty Aja opens up about her gender journey as a proud trans woman

Reiss Smith December 20, 2021
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Aja

Aja. (Instagram)

Drag Race icon and ballroom performer Aja received a wave of support after opening up about her ongoing gender journey.

Aja told followers that she is “living my life as a trans woman” while launching a GoFundMe to pay for the “medical portion of my gender journey”.

“I have lived my life as non-binary since 2018 and have recently began to identify more with the feminine aspect of my identity,” Aja wrote on the crowdfunding page.

“Now living my life as a trans woman has brought out worries about different things such as my appearance. I am ready to affirm myself and be in the body that I feel most comfortable in.”

Aja noted that while researching, she has realised “how expensive a lot of these procedures actually are”, adding: “I am asking for the help of my community, friends and family.”

Sharing the fundraiser on Instagram, Aja received messages of support from fellow Drag Race icons Jinkx Monsoon and Vivcaious, designer Marc Jacobs and a legion of fans.

Some also noticed that Aja has quietly updated the pronouns in her bio to she/her.

It’s the latest step in Aja’s journey, one that she’s shared with fans over the past few years.

In 2018 Aja said that she no longer identified as a drag queen, saying at the time that her performance is “just an extension of my gender identity”.

In September she made a triumphant return to the art form, telling fans that she has realised “trans is who I am and drag is what I do”.

“I have battled a very intense gender dysphoria since 2018,” she wrote at the time.

“When I started to write my first EP [In My Feelings] part of the reason it had that dichotomy of blue and pink masc and fem energy thing going on was because I was denial of my own transness.

“Afterward I came out as non-binary and things started to make more sense to me from a gender standpoint, however things became more difficult for me from an artistic standpoint because I started to feel like every time I dressed up I was embodying my trans identity and not an art form.

“I felt like I was beginning to understand who I was at the core and it was no longer a performance but my reality.”

Aja credited watching Kylie Sonique Love win All Stars 6 with helping her realise that she could “embody my own gender and identity and still be an artist with neither of them conflicting each other”.

“It really hit me at that moment that trans is who I am and drag is what I do,” she added. “That me doing drag has never taken away from who I am as a person and that as a public figure I should have navigated that journey and situation better. It seems silly. But in reality this has been a crazy journey for me.

“The last three years have been full of ups and downs and not being sure of who I was or where I stand. But as of today I can feel comfortable to say that I am a drag artist again.”

More: Aja, RuPaul's Drag Race

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