Photo: Instagram [@ajathekween]

Aja has announced that she will be returning to drag after three years away to make her artistic work and gender identity more compatible.

In July 2018, Aja announced that she would rather be known as a “queer artist” as opposed to a “drag queen”.

Since then, she has primarily focused on her music career to move away from how the “stereotypical drag queen lip-syncs and performs”.

However, on 6 September, the Drag Race icon took to Instagram to share an incredibly personal post about her “gender journey”.

“Afterword 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,” part of Aja’s message to fans read.

Aja revealed that watching Kylie Sonique Love win RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 6 was an inspiring moment for her.

The star continued: “I have been a big fan of @xosonique for a very long time and I don’t know. Watching her win made me realize that, that could be me.

“Not necessarily winning Drag Race, but being able to 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. 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.”

The All Stars 3 contestant said she “is now comfortable to say that I am a drag artist again” and shared that her pronouns out of drag will continue to be “she/they”.

Aja explained that she will continue working on her music, which in recent years has seen her perform with the House of Labeija, but that this will once again expand to include lip-syncing in drag.

The post was met with a great deal of support from Aja’s followers, with the likes of Michelle Visage, Aiden Zhane and Derrick Barry commenting to praise the queen for her openness.

“I love u friend,” All Stars 4 winner Trinity the Tuck wrote. “You don’t owe anyone an explanation for your journey! I support you being YOU!”

Aja previously competed in season nine of Drag Race and season three of All Stars, where she placed ninth and seventh, respectively.


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A post shared by Aja LaBeija 👑 (@ajathekween)