Eureka O’Hara Opens Up About Coming Out as Trans on HBO’s ‘We’re Here’

The last time we spoke you mentioned that you transitioned in Tennessee and then detransitioned. What caused you to make that decision?

I first transitioned at 18. I lived several years as trans, going to school, trying to hold down a job. It was hard. I dealt with a lot of bullying and harassment, and it pushed me into sex work and putting myself in situations that were really unsafe. 

I wanted to be a success. That was my dream — to get out of there — but I felt so hindered being trans, so I decided to take a step back and give myself a chance as a queer male. That was where my headspace was: I knew I wasn’t going to get where I wanted being trans at that moment because of everything I’d experienced.

How do you feel about that decision now?

It seemed like the right thing to do at the time but, ever since, I’ve had this emptiness. I’ve been searching for something. For a while, I was content as nonbinary because I was able to explore my gender and my expression but, for the last year or two especially, I wasn’t happy. I was drinking and over-partying and using anything as an excuse to make myself feel better. 

That was it, until I met Mandy [in episode five of season three of We’re Here] and hearing her story of how she’d wasted so much time — and [hearing about] her happiness when she finally transitioned — hit me like a ton of bricks. Back in my hotel room, I was spiraling. I thought maybe I needed to go to a meeting. I went and I talked to a few friends, and it wasn’t helping, so I just lay there and thought about it and realized I’m a trans person.

I called my drag mother — my trans mother — and told her, and she said, “I’m proud of you, I’m happy to have you back. Everything’s going to be ok”. And that was when I felt this huge weight lift off my chest that I hadn’t felt in so long.

What changed? How has your gender journey evolved?

Looking back at when I first transitioned, and the society I was living in, I was set up to not succeed. Some trans women I looked up to at the time had passed away because it was back when there was an issue with the silicone work that girls were having done. I had been scheduled to have injections illegally just a few days after I decided to detransition. It scared me. I had been sexually and physically assaulted and it was horrible. The life I was living was not conducive to the aims I had for myself. 

What changed? I think hearing Mandy’s story and realizing how much time I’d already lost being happy and authentically myself. Realizing that, although I’ve achieved success, there’s been something missing in my life, and I’ve been searching for it but it’s been there the whole time and it was me being completely, authentically me. And I didn’t want to waste any more time. 

But I also didn’t want to rush into it, so I’ve allowed myself time before going fully public. The show has been amazing and gave me the opportunity to tell my story how I felt comfortable, giving me time to get my [hormone therapy] set up and get emotionally prepared for the world to have these questions.

The final two episodes of We’re Here season 3 seem to have had a profound impact on your coming-out process. Can you tell us about that?


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