The cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 13 (US) has been announced, and it features the first transmasculine contestant in the show’s history. The full line up is Denali, Elliott with 2 Ts, Joey Jay, Kahmora Hall, Kandy Muse, LaLa Ri, Olivia Lux, Rosé Symone, Tamisha Iman, Tina Burner and Utica Queen, with Los Angeles based makeup artist, Gottmik, being the first trans man to compete in the show. He told Entertainment Weekly: “I was always good at makeup, and if I went out in drag, it was the only time people thought I was a guy…. Once I got more comfortable with myself out of drag, my drag character was able to actually be my art, and that’s when I started taking it seriously.”
He hopes to educate people about the trans community and inspire other gender diverse people: “The main thing I want to make clear is that the gender spectrum is really crazy, and I feel like me doing feminine drag is confusing to a lot of people. I want to show everyone that no matter what you transition to, boy or girl, there’s a whole gender spectrum in between that you can play with and have fun with, and it doesn’t mean that your identity is any less valid.”
The show has been the subject of criticism for its previous lack of gender diversity, however Gottmik said RuPaul was the “most supportive, amazing person” who “showed love for my drag and what I do.” In his promotional video for the show, he said he ‘needs to be the first trans winner’ of Drag Race. Drag Race season 13 is due to air on January 1 in the US, but the UK release date has not yet been announced. Drag Race UK is also set to air in 2021.