American Idol alum, Adore Delano Comes Out Transgender

Adore Delano
photo credit: Kevin Alexander

American Idol and RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Adore Delano comes out as transgender

Adore Delano, RuPaul’s Drag Race season 6 finalist and former American Idol season 7 contestant, came out as trans in an emotional video on Wednesday (July 26).

“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,” Adore shared.

“I wanted to to let everybody know that I am transitioning and I kept it really kind of hush-hush the first three months because I wanted to go through…the beginning stages of the puberty privately because there’s a lot that changes and integrates into the way that you think and the way that you receive information. But I’ve found that it’s been very enlightening and has made me probably the happiest I’ve ever been in my adult life.”

Adore shared her life story. When she was a kid, she didn’t feel like she “belonged anywhere at all.” The feeling of being “an absolute other gender” came to the forefront when Adore got sober two years ago. Previously, she used alcohol to push down her feelings, but once got clean and started therapy, she realized that living a dual boy/girl existence–a female drag persona, and a male in real life–wasn’t working for her.

When she competed on Idol “I threw it away. I burned it. I tried to reinvent myself”

Right before her 13th birthday, Adore came out first as bisexual, then as gay and then in high school, as transgender. Her mother was completely accepting. But at 16, she competed on American Idol, at which point she regressed to her “boy persona.” She competed on the show in 2008 as Danny Noriega, finishing the competition in the Top 12. Her sassy reparte with the judges made her a fan favorite.

“I suppressed everything,” she said about her time on the show. “I threw it away. I burned it. I tried to reinvent myself. It’s something that I’m really good at doing as a Scorpio Rising, but I reinvented myself into something that was so uncomfortable.”

“It was almost like a sacrifice in order to get what I wanted career-wise, and it made sense to me at the time as a sixteen-year-old.” He added, “Right after I got kicked off American Idol, I went straight back to living my life in the middle–more femme presenting.”

Adore began her drag career after Idol, which led to Drag Race

After American Idol, Adore started doing drag and loved the transformation and the “binary in between the character and Danny.” She added, “I tried to live it. Y’all. I really tried to live it but it just did not code well with my spirit if that makes any sense.”

When Adore looks back at videos from her early drag days, she can see the “glimmer in my eye and the sadness.” She added, “And I look at videos of myself and I would just drink my days away because these emotions that I did not want to deal with.”

“I am on my third month, now on estrogen”

“I am on my third month, now on estrogen,” Adore reveals, “And I’m not kidding when I tell you, I am so chill. I love life again, I feel almost like a kid going through puberty.”

Adore wanted to keep it private for the first few months, but realized that she sacrificed her privacy when she became a public figure at 18.

“I thank God for American Idol, because that taught me how to navigate the private and the public persona.” she adds, “I don’t know why I’m getting emotional…it’s the damn estrogen!”

“I’m going to be having surgery in November so I’m probably going to look a little different,” Adore explains. “I’m going to make the best out of it and squeeze the most juice out of this as I can and become the most beautiful butterfly that we can for you guys.”

“I’m living in my world now, and it’s so empowering and it feels so good,” Adore says.

She’s anticipating the naysayers who “love the binary between my character and my boy self. But this ends that chapter. She says, “Now I hope that you can come along with me and the journey of just becoming the fullest butterfly potential that I have.”

“I would be nowhere without my supporters,” she says. “You guys have my heart.”

“It feels so liberating”

Adore feels like she’s finally “giving my teenage self the permission to be my true self now and it feels so liberating. So so good to walk like this down the street and not give a goddamn. I think that’s why I’m so sensitive about people commenting on my body and how it’s changing.”

She notes that her fat is in different places, and “I’m getting a little boobies now.” She feels like she’s going through puberty now. “It feels like I’m literally coming out of the closet again.” She urges all of her fans to “live your truth…it’s so fulfilling.”

Adore will undergo “major surgeries” at the end of the year

Adore is going to be taking a few months off in the beginning of next year as she recovers from some “major surgeries.”

“I am transgender,” Adore declares. And while previously she held back on insisting on pronouns, now she announces that “I’m going by she/her. “They” still feels a little cute, but she/her just feels yummy on this cupcake even though I don’t like frosting.”

After finishing her runs on American Idol and Rupaul’s Drag Race, Adore charted her 2014 album Till Death Do Us Party at No. 59 on the Billboard 200. She’s also embarked on several successful tours, and appeared as a contestant on MTV’s Ex on the Beach in 2019.

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Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!