On Wednesday afternoon, Adore Delano decided to open up to fans in a video posted to Instagram. Delano is a singer and performer who built a following via televised competitions like American Idol, RuPaul's Drag Race, and RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars. She's even appeared on projects like Ex on the Beach. Now, the star, whose music has made it on the Billboard charts, has come out to followers as trans in an emotional post.
"There's been a lot of talk about my body and questions about my gender going around the internet and in my comment sections and stuff," Delano said in a video. She was likely referencing the comment section of not only her Instagram posts but of her livestreams on TikTok where she's been chatting with fans over the past few weeks. "But yeah I just want to explain everything that's been happening these last few months."
"So yeah, I wanted to let everyone know that I am transitioning," she said, going on to explain that while she hadn't talked about it publicly she had been on hormones for the past three months. "It's made me probably the happiest I've ever been in my adult life."
According to Delano, this isn't a new revelation. In the Instagram video, she describes knowing that she didn't view herself the way the world viewed her as a child and was lucky enough to be the child of a mother who allowed her to explore it. After coming out as bisexual the day before her 13th birthday (and later as gay) she "lived life as a girl all of my high school life."
"I came out to my mom as transgender," she explained. "I didn't know the words for that. I just told my mom 'I'm not a boy, I'm a girl. I want to live my life as a girl.' And I'm so blessed to have a mom, especially in the subculture that I grew up in, that was so understanding. She was so understanding with everything and she said, 'Let's figure it out and get you through school and know how to put 'em up and fight when you need to.'" So Delano wore makeup, crop tops, and corsets in high school.
That clarity of self from those early years came back to Delano as she became sober from drugs and alcohol two years ago.
What about Adore Delano's time on 'American Idol' and 'Drag Race?'
At the tender age of 16, Delano appeared on American Idol. For it, she thought that in order to take advantage of the opportunity, she needed to go back into the closet.
"I suppressed everything," she said. "I threw it away. I burned it. I tried to reinvent myself." Delano's talent and decision led to her being cast on the seventh season of American Idol, making it to the top 16 in 2008. She wouldn't appear on RuPaul's Drag Race until 2014. In the interim, she began to explore drag and separated her identity, often using alcohol to help. "I tried to live it, y'all. I really tried to live it but it just did not code well with my spirit."
"We only have one body, depending on what you believe," she said. "But on this earth and in this lifetime right now I'm going to make the best out of it and squeeze the most juice out of it as I can and become the most beautiful butterfly that I can for you guys." Following the surgeries she plans to take a few months off at the beginning of 2024 in order to recover.
"I'm still your party girl, I'm just living in my world now."