VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race” just announced its Season 13 contestants lineup, and it includes a transgender male drag queen for the first time in the show’s history.
Gottmik, a celebrity makeup artist from Los Angeles, describes himself as “a trans man who is changing the face of drag.”
“This celebrity makeup artist is ready to win the competition one face at a time (and) ready to show an edgy persona d’arte,” Gottmik’s casting description read.
“Drag Race” has cast transgender queens before — but all of them identified as trans women, notably Season 9 runner-up Peppermint and “All Stars” Season 4 contestant Gia Gunn (who originally competed in Season 6 before transitioning).
RuPaul himself has waded into controversy over his comments about transgender people. During early seasons of the show, RuPaul would address contestants via video at the beginning of the show with the catchphrase “You’ve got She-Mail” (the term “she-male” is considered transphobic. RuPaul told The Guardian at the time that “I would not have changed it.”
In 2014 he came under fire for a segment on the show called “Female or She-Male,” where contestants had to guess if a fellow competitor was cisgendered (not trans) or not based on partial photographs. Since then, several of the show’s transgender contestants have spoken out about RuPaul’s apparently casual transphobia — he also said in 2018 that transgender women who compete as drag queens are “cheating.”
RuPaul later apologized for the comments, and said on Twitter, “the trans community are heroes of our shared LGBTQ movement. You are my teachers.”
That said, fans of the show can hope that Gottmik can continue to educate in Season 13, along with the rest of the cast — check out the full lineup of new queens below.
Pictured above. The first transgender man to compete in “Drag Race,” Gottmik is a celebrity makeup artist from Los Angeles that is ready to win the judges’ hearts, one perfectly beat face at a time.
From Chicago, Denali was a professional figure skater prior to joining “Drag Race” season 13. The self-described “Ice Queen” plans to incorporate “ice skating and acrobatic elements” in her upcoming performances. Instagram: @Denalifoxx
Describing herself as “Chicago’s premiere Mackie Barbie doll,” Kamora is ready to bring luxury and glitz to the runway in season 13. Instagram: @Kamorahall
A Dominican from New York City, Kandy Muse won the Brooklyn Drag Queen of the Year award last year and is ready to take her talents to the next level as a self-described “pro at being in the limelight.” Instagram: @TheKandyMuse
From Atlanta, LaLa Ri is a born entertainer ready to captivate the stage this season, with a mixture of sassy, classy and sexy. Instagram: @MissLaLaRi
A pianist and former musical theater actor, New Yorker Olivia Lux promises to bring back the charm and ol’ razzle dazzle of old Hollywood to the season 13 stage. Instagram: @TheOliviaLux
Rosé all day! This queen was a member of girl group Stephanie’s Child, along with season 12 queen Jan, and is a passionate performer from New York City. She describes herself as permanently camped out at “the intersection of Wit Ave. and Fashion Blvd.”
The first ever contestant on “Drag Race” from Arkansas, Symone is a small-town country girl with a big heart and personality who’s ready to represent her state with pride for the first time.
From Atlanta, Tamisha is one of the most experienced queens on this season. She’s got experience making all her looks from scratch and identifies herself as a “mother figure” who’s created her own drag dynasty. Instagram: @Tamisha_Iman
This New Yorker was Miss Comedy Queen 2019 and a former boy band member, and she’s ready to burn down the house with her performance chops this season. Instagram: @TheTinaBurner
This queen from Minneapolis identifies herself as the “wacky, wavy inflatable arm tube queen” and wants to fuse pop art and drag into a winning formula this season. Instagram: @QueenUtica
Elliott With 2 Ts
A Las Vegas showgirl, Elliott is ready to take her 80s-inspired aesthetic and background as a professional dance to RuPaul’s stage — and her uncanny ability to drop into splits on command can’t hurt her chances. Instagram: @TheRealElliottQueen
Another dancing queen! A self-identified Jewish princess, Joey Jay hails from Phoenix and is a champion at adding rhinestones to just about any fabric. Instagram: @JoeyJayIsGay
Tune in to “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 13 Jan. 1 at 8 p.m. on VH1.