Eureka O’Hara is “blessed” now that she’s living her truth as a transgender woman.
After living in her gender identity for the last seven months, the Drag Race and We’re Here alum publicly shared her story for the first time in an interview with PEOPLE.
“I’m blessed now,” said the star “because I know who I am without question.”
“It’s been really magical and it’s been probably the easiest transitional and coming out journey that I’ve ever been on,” she added. “I hope my story teaches people that gender is a journey, and we are ever-evolving people.”
Eureka reexamined her gender identity after she met Mandy, a trans individual who transitioned in their 70s, on a forthcoming episode of We’re Here.
The Emmy Award-winning HBO series, which recently launched its third season, follows Eureka and her Drag Race sisters Bob the Drag Queen and Shangela as they travel across the U.S. and recruit small-town residents to participate in drag shows.
“Hearing the story of Mandy regretting losing all that time — and all the regret and the pain that she was going through during the time of not fully being herself — was really important to me,” said Eureka.
“When I left Mandy’s house that day, I started spiraling. It just had me searching my mind, ‘What is happening, what is going on?’ Then I just answered myself: ‘I’m trans. I’m a trans woman.’ It just clicked.
“Now I’m at 31 years old, and I’m like, ‘Well I don’t want to be like Mandy and finally transition at 70 to be happy. I don’t want to lose 40 years — I want to spend those 40 years happy.'”
When Eureka decided to transition, she leaned on her We’re Here co-stars Bob the Drag Queen and Shangela for support, as well as her drag mother Jacqueline St. James.
“I wanted to have the opportunity to tell the story with the show, because I was so impacted by Mandy. It was like I got to decide for the first time ever in my life how I came out, ’cause I never had that experience before,” continued Eureka.
“I was always called gay before I ever even knew what gay was; when I wanted to transition before, I was told by the other people in my life and trans people that I was trans before I really understood what it was. This time it was like, I get to do it my way.”
Eureka initially identified as a cisgender gay man, before living as a transgender woman from ages 18 to 22. She later identified as non-binary.
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The star has changed her name to Eureka D. Huggard – ‘Eureka’ was inspired by her mother Ulrike and ‘Huggard’ is her birth name – and has been on hormone replacement therapy for seven months.
Now, Eureka is aiming to legally change her gender and undergo a more physical transformation.
“Every day, I’m becoming the woman that I strive to be — but I’m already that woman. It’s just like any other female and any other person, I’m going to do what I need to do to feel even more comfortable in my skin,” she said.
“I want to have breast argumentation done. I want to have potentially facial feminization surgery. I’m not sure. I get really nervous about my face, you know what I mean? Cause I have such a pretty face already, so I don’t want to mess anything up.”
Eureka explained further: “I’m preparing my body and myself for surgeries in the future, too, because I do want to be the woman that I want to be.
“I’ve been losing weight and being more mindful of what I eat in my diet and have been taking care of myself health-wise, because I was told by a doctor that they wouldn’t put me under at the size that I was.
“So that is also something that I’m working towards.”
You can read Eureka’s full interview with PEOPLE here.