RuPaul’s Drag Race has a history of making herstory. The competition reality show hosted by veteran drag queen RuPaul has provided a platform for many underrepresented demographics, including members of the LGBTQ+ community. Now coming up on its fourteenth season, RuPaul’s Drag Race has hit a brand new casting milestone – although it’s not what you might expect.
Casting for Season 14 of RuPaul’s Drag Race was announced on December 2. The line-up features two trans women, as well as several drag-relatives of previous contestants like Season 11 winner Yvie Oddly and Season 12 finalist Crystal Methyd. The casting milestone in question, however, refers to a drag queen from Arkansas who goes by Maddy Morphosis. Variety has reported that she will become the first ever heterosexual, cisgender male contestant to compete for the title of ‘America’s Next Drag Superstar’.
The casting of Maddy Morphosis may indicate a shift when it comes to casting on RuPaul’s Drag Race. While early seasons of the show primarily featured contestants that identified as gay cis men, more recent installments have begun to broaden their horizons in terms of casting. Season 9 finalist Peppermint became the first contestant to enter the show as a trans woman, while Season 13 finalist Gottmik made history as the show’s first trans male contestant. The third season of Drag Race UK also featured Victoria Scone, a cisgender woman who identifies as a lesbian. However, Maddy Morphosis will be the first contestant on any iteration of RuPaul’s Drag Race to not identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
While Peppermint was the first drag queen to begin her tenure as a trans woman, many previous cast members went on to redefine their gender identities after their appearance on the show. Kylie Sonique Love became the first contestant to come out as trans in the Season 2 reunion special, when she revealed that she had begun to make her transition after initial filming had ended (she also became the first openly trans winner when she snagged the crown on the sixth season of All-Stars). Season 5 contestant Monica Beverly Hillz was the second trans woman to come out during her time on the show.
Other trans contestants include Carmen Carrera, Stacy Layne Matthews, Jiggly Caliente, and Laganja Estranja, who recently made a triumphant return to the main stage as a lip sync assassin on All Stars 6. The trans representation on Season 14 will be provided by Kornbread “The Snack” Jeté and Kerri Colby.
The two-part Season 14 premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race will air on January 7 at 8 pm EST on VH1. The episode will be immediately followed by the season premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked at 9:30.