‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ has its first Native Hawaiian performer. Sasha Colby is her name

Sasha Colby shot to stardom in the early 2000s and is now inspiring audiences across the county while advocating for transgender rights
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 6:19 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After 15 seasons ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ has cast its first Native Hawaiian entertainer.

Sasha Colby is originally from Waimanalo but now lives in Los Angeles. She’s the youngest of seven children and has since made a name for herself in the drag community on a national level.

“I’m just so excited to represent all the things that I love about Hawaii,” Colby said about being on the hit reality competition show. “It’s only the second week, and it’s insane... It’s a whirlwind, I must say.”

In the big cities with top-notch entertainers, Colby often sells out large venues and nightclubs whenever she takes the stage.

She won the coveted title of Miss Continental in 2012 and is using her voice to amplify the fight for transgender equality.

“To have this politicized all the time, it’s so hard when you’re just trying to be an actual trans person walking through life — not trying to force your beliefs, or looks or anything on anyone, just wanting to live your life how you want to,” she said.

Her journey from a small town to the biggest stage in drag has been one of luck, perfect timing, and self-discovery.

“There’s a lot of things that you realize you didn’t know you could do on the show physically. But then realizing there’s a level of vulnerability that you have to show and release — it’s cathartic to be on the show and present your trauma and your life to everyone,” she said.

Through her performances, Colby expresses individuality and encourages others to live authentically, despite acknowledging not everyone accepts trans and drag performers.

“At the end of the day, drag is an art form. Drag is an outlet to create. And like any other art, whether it’s sculptures, music, or high art — it’s subjective. And you will like certain art, and you will not, and I think once we really honor what we’re here to do — which is to be a vessel to create, and to work through trauma, or to unite people in a common way of thinking or looking at something differently — that’s what drag does,” Colby said.

And while Colby continues to soar to stardom, she keeps Hawaii, its people, and its food in her heart.

“Favorite traditional Hawaiian (food)? Laulau poi Lomi salmon. Straight up,” she said. “Best favorite snack is Foodland poke, the spicy ahi.”

On the topic of food, she also said a kalbi BBQ Chicken mixed plate with extra mac salad is top of her list when it comes to local grinds.

She added that she feels the love and support from Hawaii all the way in LA, and her circle of other Hawaii natives in California helps keep her grounded.

“I love taking that on and representing all the Hawaii queens I grew up loving and admiring. So I’m just so happy to be the one that gets to at least push the conversation further in trans rights, equal level playing field for everyone,” Colby said.

You can watch Colby compete for the $200,000 grand prize in new episodes of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ every Friday on MTV.