Nikita Dragun has always had a fire inside of her, and she makes it known
YouTube sensation, beauty guru, and now, Galore Proud To Be Cover Girl, Nikita Dragun, first got her start by openly and honestly documenting her transition. She started her YouTube journey as an online diary of sorts, but it grew into something much, much bigger than that.
Nikita didn’t know it at the time, but she would soon become the Internet’s most loved trans person – through her very thorough documentation of her transition, Nikita has helped trans youth with their own journeys immensely.
Even when Nikita felt that she had had enough of being known simply for her trans identity and her transition, she knew that she had to keep pushing forward and keep documenting, in order to pave the way for those in need of someone to learn from, look up to, and relate to.
Nikita is a star, and is a huge advocate for being true to yourself and your heart – something that is hard to come by these days. We are so excited to have someone of her calibre on our Proud To Be cover.
We spoke to Nikita about how she got her name, moving to LA, the meaning of her tattoos, her fave red lipstick, and transitioning in the Internet spotlight. Check out the exclusive interview and photoshoot below!
Where did you get the name Nikita Dragun, and how does the name describe you and your personality?
I wanted a name similar to my past life (RIP!). When I was younger, I watched a show on CW about a badass female named Nikita, who was kicking ass and saving the world. When I saw that, I aspired to be her – a badass female saving the world. Dragon was the energy that was always inside of me. I’ve always had this fire. So, it was a natural transition.
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What was it like transitioning while being so public and documenting most of the transition on YouTube?
It was scary, and at first, it was just for myself. I documented it for a personal scrapbook, so I could look back and reflect on my journey. It wasn’t until it went viral that I realized it was a platform I could use to help people going through the same thing – or having someone in their lives doing so.
Did you ever want to just stop documenting the transition and why? If so, how did you overcome those thoughts and continue?
There were a lot of times I wanted to stop. I felt like I started becoming nothing, but the label of “transgender” and people weren’t seeing me, Nikita. It hurt in my personal life because that’s all people saw me as. There was definitely a moment when I wanted to stop sharing identity and delete it all. But, I knew the videos were there for a reason and that they were more than myself.
How do you think you and others in the trans community who are vocal about their transition help other in the community? Is it amazing being a role model to trans youth who may not have ever had another role model, had you not been so open on YouTube?
I think it’s about visibility, and I love helping out our brothers and sisters in the fight for equality. It’s about community, conversation, and connection.
What are the best and worst things about being so open on YouTube about who you are?
The best thing about it is that it’s gotten me to this moment, but what can suck is when I’m on a Tinder date and the date knows all about you.
How did your move to LA from Virginia help with your transition? Did you find that the LGBTQ+ community in LA was more supportive and helpful during that time in your life?
I hadn’t met a trans person until I moved to LA, and I was fully immersed from the moment I moved here. The community in LA has become part of my family, and has helped me become who I am today.
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Headpiece: Venus Prototype, Corset: Puimond Corsets, Pant: Fausto Puglisi, Belt: Michael Ngo, Gloves: Syren Latex, Chain: Opus Prime, Shoes: Saint Laurent
How important was it to you to have parents who supported your transition? What could other parents learn from what yours did when you finally came out to them?
It’s about love. Although it was hard at the beginning, they loved me, and ultimately wanted me to be happy. I love my parents, because they supported me as long as I made best decisions in whatever I wanted to do in life.
How amazing has it been to be able to share your love of all things beauty and makeup on such a big platform?
Bitch! It’s been everything.
Talk to us about your music career, and what we can expect from you in the future?
Ultimately, I want to be the world’s first trans pop star! Bitch, if no one else is gonna do it, it might as well be me.
How can beauty and fashion companies work towards being more inclusive, as we obviously still have a long way to go?
Beauty and the beauty industry are about reflecting society and the world. The world is so different and unique. There are so many different types of people in this world, and I’m happy to see marketing campaigns beginning to showcase this.
Dream makeup or beauty collaboration?
I would love to collab with McDonald’s and Victoria’s Secret.
Favorite and least favorite thing about LA?
Favorite thing is there’s such a community here. Least fave – it takes 30 minutes to get 1 mile.
You obviously love fun wigs. Favorite wig and why?
My favorite wig is my pink wig – it’s one of first wigs that really “started” me, branded me, and makes me happy. You can’t be mad when you’re wearing pink hair.
Tell us about your wig collaboration!
It’s the first wig collab I have ever done, and it is special because it reminded me of my first wig I ever owned. I worked really hard, gave it my whole heart, and it meant so much to me.
I used to stuff a wig under my bed and I loved it so much because when I put it on, I was me. Really, wigs allowed me to see who I wanted to be before Nikita came into my life. I wanted my draguns to have that similar experience.
Tell us about your tattoos.
I want more. Even though Mama Dragun will have heart attack. On my back, I have a dragon. It’s more feminine because it represents my mother. On my chest, I have a dragon as well. It’s more masculine because it represents my father.
Why is being authentic important to you?
Because no one will be a better you, than you. You only have one life, so be your best, baddest self, bitches!
What do you have to say to the haters?
Keep watching, bitch.
What advice do you have for LGBTQ+ youth dealing with bullying or negativity?
Once you accept yourself, everyone else will follow. If there is no light at the end of the tunnel right now, it truly does get better. Keep moving forward!
Morphe red – discount code is Dragun!
Outfit you feel sexiest in?
Any outfit. I can make sweatpants sexy.
Hair color you want to try that you haven’t yet?
Canary yellow. Only color I haven’t tried.
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Headpiece: Venus Prototype, Gloves: Syren Latex, Dress: Di$count Universe, Shoes: Pleasers
Highlighter or contour?
Hoe-light and CUNT-tour.
If you had alllll the lid space in the world, what look would you do first?
I have a lot of lid space; let’s get that straight. But if I had more lid space, I’d do a drag look.
Hair products you can’t live without?
I can’t live without a wig.
Idol growing up and why?
My idol has always been Marilyn Monroe because she created the life she wanted and the fantasy.
What does Pride Month mean to you?
Love celebration, visibility, and friendship. Joining in celebrating our fight towards acceptance.
Ultimate Pride parade outfit?
Sparklers, rhinestones, and fire.
What’s next for you?
Taking over the world, one wig at a time.
Headpiece: Venus Prototype, Gloves: Syren Latex, Corset: Venus Prototype, Shoes: Charlotte Olympia
Headpiece: Venus Prototype, Shirt: Balmain, Skirt: Dollskill, Gloves: Syren Latex
Headpiece: Venus Prototype, Corset: Puimond Corsets, Pants: Fausto Puglisi, Belt: Michael Ngo, Gloves: Syren Latex, Chain: Opus Prime, Shoes: Saint Laurent
Headpiece: Venus Prototype, Dress: L.O.C.A. By Eileen O’Brien, Shoes: Saint Laurent
Photos by Arturo Evaristo
Styling by Joey Thao
Makeup Steven Tabimba
Cover Art by Lisa Yoo
Assistant Styling by John Jimenez