Who is Laganja Estranja?

Laganja Estranja, an electrifying and vibrant drag queen, has captivated audiences worldwide with her unique style, fierce performances, and unapologetic personality. Rising to fame on the reality television series, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Laganja Estranja has not only made her mark as an artist, but also as an advocate for mental health and the LGBTQ+ community. In this article, we will delve into Laganja Estranja’s background, her time on Drag Race, and her impact as an influential figure in the drag world.

Early Life and Introduction to Drag

Laganja Estranja, whose birth name is Jay Evan Jackson, was born on December 28, 1988, in Dallas, Texas. From a young age, Laganja showed a deep passion for dance and performing arts, which would later become integral to her drag persona. She began training at Booker T. Washington High School for Performing Arts in various dance styles, including ballet, jazz, and hip-hop, and eventually pursued a career as a professional dancer, and later obtained a BFA in Dance at the California Institute of the Arts.

Laganja’s journey into drag began while studying dance in Los Angeles. Inspired by the art form’s creativity and self-expression, she embarked on her drag transformation, blending her love for dance, fashion, and theatrics. Laganja quickly gained attention in the Los Angeles drag scene for her dynamic performances and her ability to seamlessly fuse her dance skills with her drag persona. She got her first regular gig at Micky’s in West Hollywood and won multiple drag competitions including Best Newcomer during her start.

RuPaul’s Drag Race Journey

Between 2013-2014 Laganja auditioned and was cast as a contestant on the sixth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Known for her vibrant personality, high-energy performances, and memorable catchphrases, Laganja quickly became a fan favorite and a standout among the talented cast of queens.

Throughout the competition, Laganja captivated audiences with her fierce lip-sync battles, specifically her lip-sync to Courtney Act performing Stupid Girls by P!nk, intricate choreography, and boundary-pushing runway looks. While she faced challenges and criticism from the judges for not being herself, her determination and resilience shone through, and she left an indelible mark on the show’s history. Laganja was eliminated on episode, the week after winning her first challenge alongside her winning partner Adore Delano.

Langanja is mostly known for all her different catchphrases on season six, as well as for her entrance look where she walked and did a death drop stating “Y’all wanted a twist?” She is the drag daughter of Alyssa Edwards, and drag sister to Shangela, and Plastique Tiara.

Post-Drag Race Career and Artistry

Following her time on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Laganja Estranja continued to flourish as a performer and artist. She embarked on national and international tours, dazzling audiences with her mesmerizing stage presence and dynamic performances. Laganja’s unique blend of dance, comedy, and theatrics set her apart, captivating both drag enthusiasts and mainstream audiences.

Laganja has also become known for her fearless approach to artistry, continually pushing boundaries and experimenting with new concepts. Her performances often incorporate elements of contemporary dance, voguing, and other forms of movement, showcasing her versatility as an artist.

Beyond her stage presence, Laganja has expanded her creative endeavors to include music. She released her debut single, “Legs,” in 2014, which was rated third best song released by a Ru girl by Pitchfork Media,   followed by a series of successful music releases, solidifying her position as a multi-talented performer.

Laganja Estranja is a major Cannabis advocate, she has been featured in numerous talks regarding the legalization of marijuanna, has launched weed themed merchandise, has been on the cover of multiple cannabis magazines, including Dope Magazine, making her the first Queer representative for the magazine, and has done collaborations for multiple edibles and pre roll joints.

Laganja outside of drag is very involved with dance. She choreographs for Trixie Mattel and Katya Zamolodchikova, multiple Drag Race touring shows, and has her own international master class named Laganja’s Dance School.

Advocacy and Mental Health Awareness

Laganja Estranja has become a powerful advocate for mental health awareness, particularly within the LGBTQ+ community. As someone who has experienced personal struggles with mental health, she has used her platform to promote understanding, empathy, and stigmatization surrounding mental health issues.

Through her vulnerability and openness, Laganja has inspired countless individuals to seek help and support, encouraging conversations about mental wellness within the community. She actively engages with her fans, sharing her own experiences and offering guidance and resources for those struggling with mental health challenges.

Laganja’s advocacy work extends beyond mental health to embrace broader issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community, such as visibility, acceptance, and equal rights. She uses her voice and platform to raise awareness and promote inclusivity, ensuring that marginalized voices are heard and celebrated.

The Impact of Laganja Estranja

Laganja Estranja’s impact on the drag community and the entertainment industry as a whole is significant. Her unique style, unparalleled dance abilities, and unapologetic personality have inspired a new generation of drag queens and performers.

Her commitment to mental health advocacy and LGBTQ+ rights has helped to break down barriers and encourage dialogue within the community. By sharing her own experiences, Laganja has fostered a sense of connection and support, emphasizing the importance of self-acceptance and embracing individuality.


Laganja Estranja has emerged as a dynamic force within the drag community, redefining artistry and advocacy through her captivating performances and dedication to mental health awareness. From her standout appearance on RuPaul’s Drag Race to her continuous growth as an artist and advocate, Laganja’s impact is undeniable. Her fierce talent, unyielding authenticity, and commitment to creating change make her an influential figure within the drag world and an inspiration to individuals worldwide. Laganja Estranja’s legacy extends far beyond the stage, as she continues to redefine what it means to be a drag queen and a fearless advocate for mental health and LGBTQ+ rights.