Former RuPaul‘s Drag Race contestant, Carmen Carrera, is all woman (and show girl) in a new photo spread for W magazine. Carrera shows off her body, which looks flawless in the glamorous Vegas-inspired outfits. But it’s not all looks with Carrera, she also penned an essay, in which she explains how the show prompted her to transition and difficulties people have dating a transgender woman.
I participated in an amateur show, and the audience loved me — I won! After that, I started touring clubs and acquired a fan base. I also realized that being onstage gave me an escape: I could be feminine, which is what I was on the inside. I never felt like a gay guy — growing up I’d pray that I would wake up a girl.
Eventually, I didn’t want to act like a woman anymore—I wanted to become one. I went to a doctor, and he prescribed what I needed. But I sat on it for a little bit. I kept thinking, What happens if I don’t look nice? That same month, I got a phone call from the producers of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Literally the day after we finished filming the show, I decided it was time to transition.
It hasn’t been easy—especially when it comes to dating. I tell people I’m transgender, and they bring up all the negative stereotypes that come from ignorance. I don’t have time to play psychologist, so I try to lead by example. I want to leave something behind so people can look back one day and say, “Wow, remember when transpeople were discriminated against the most? This person was like, ‘Screw everybody! I’m going to parade around half-naked and be superproud, because that’s how everyone should be!’?”
Check out her amazing photos below:
The rest of the shoot and her full essay can be found here.
[Photos: Steven Meisel/W Magazine]