Drag Race UK has announced its first trans contestant ahead of series 4 arriving this month.
Dakota Schiffer is making “herstory” on the BBC Three show as she has been revealed to compete in the new series, and has said she is “so excited” about being involved in Drag Race UK as a trans woman.
The 22-year-old from Sussex told the BBC: "I’m so excited to represent my trans sisters, siblings, and brothers, and I can’t wait".
Schiffer found a passion for drag as a teenager, having had a serious love for make-up and fashion, and the practice led her to discovering where she stood with her own gender identity.
"Initially, I struggled to embrace my feminine side and drag gave me the escape I needed to come out as trans and embrace all of my inner femininity,” Schiffer said.
"Through that feminine expression, I realised my own identity. It’s not just something that I take off and on, this is who I am."
In recent years, drag has become more inclusive of women, non-binary and trans artists within its community, outside of men who dress as women.
Schiffer describes her take on drag as a "love letter to the nineties redoes the sixties" and coins Sharon Tate in Valley of the Dolls as her “style icon”.
The upcoming competitor has been a fan of Drag Race UK for years, as she said: “I’ve dreamed of being on this show since I first watched it. I am so excited for season four. I’m so excited to meet my new sisters! Bring it on!”
Schiffer hopes to bring awareness to trans people as she joins the show and encourage those who are trans watching to feel comfortable and proud within themselves.
She said: “It’s exciting to be able to represent my community in a lovely, positive way, which we don’t get given enough opportunities to do.
"So much about being trans - in the media and the negative, sometimes aggressive conversations around our identities - can make it feel very bleak, but I’m excited to show trans community and trans joy."
Schiffer also wants to show that trans people can love drag too, as she added: "I feel fulfilled as a trans woman and a drag queen. It doesn’t make you any less valid of a trans person.
“Your identity is separate to your occupation."