BiographyHoney Mahogany was born in and resides in San Fransisco, California. She comes from a "Roman Catholic Ethiopian family". Alpha Mulugeta first started performing in drag while earning her undergraduate degree at the University of Southern California, then stopped until she was in grad school at UC Berkeley where she co-founded the annual drag competition: Berkeley's Next Top Drag Performer in 2008. While at Cal, she mostly performed at lesbian clubs in Oakland, stating that at the time she had many more lesbian friends than gay friends.
After graduating in 2009, Mulugeta moved to San Francisco and became a full-time social worker by day and drag queen by night. Working as a program director at the Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County, Mulugeta became used to "keeping a strong line dividing my job as a drag queen and my job as a social worker." Honey also worked on her burgeoning music career, writing and singing her own soul-inflected, old-school-inspired songs. She would often sing live during her sets, rather than lip-sync.
In 2012, she decided to submit a video trying out for RuPaul's Drag Race, and was accepted. Filming started almost immediately after she found out she'd be on the show, but while she was mentally prepared to perform for cameras, she "wasn't so prepared for the other aspects of reality television."
Drag Name Origin
She got her drag name from the first two shades of the Revlon foundation that matched her skin tone, honey and mahogany.
RuPaul's Drag Race
She was one of the 14 contestants to be chosen for the fifth season of RuPaul's Drag Race, competing against Jinkx Monsoon, Coco Montrese, Roxxxy Andrews, Alyssa Edwards, and others. Honey was the first contestant on the show to represent San Francisco, and also had the distinction of being one of the few performers who sang live as opposed to lip-syncing.
In the opening episode of the season, RuPaullywood Or Bust, Honey's runway look was an all-gold outfit with a gold mesh headpiece. She was deemed safe for the outfit. In week two for the episode Lip Sync Extravaganza Eleganza, Honey placed within the top four. In week three, Honey partnered with Coco Montrese for a puppet performance with which the judges were not impressed. Combining the runway and being judged individually for the puppet performance, she ended up being safe that week. In episode four, Black Swan: Why It Gotta Be Black? She took to the runway in another caftan, which the judges were not impressed with. She was placed in the bottom two, lip-syncing against Vivienne Pinay to Britney Spears' "Oops I Did It Again". After the performance, both Honey and Vivienne were eliminated in a double elimination, the first in the show's history.Honey is mostly now known for being involved in the first ever double elimination, and also for her caftans on the runway.
RuPaul's Drag Race Stats
|Seasons Competed:||Season 5|
|Mini Challenges Won:||0|
|Times as Team Captain:||0|
|Maxi Challenges Won:||0|
|Times in Bottom Two:||1 (Ep. 4)|
|Episode Eliminated:||Episode 4|
- Honey is the first queen from San Francisco.
- Honey and Vivienne Pinay are the first queens to be eliminated in a double sashay.
- After Honey was eliminated, she stated she wanted Jinkx Monsoon to win.
- Honey auditioned for 2nd season of the US version of The X Factor. She was eliminated in the audition round.
- Honey inspired the runway theme for season 11, episode 10, ''Caftan Realness''.
- In 2010, Honey released a cover of Adele’s “Hometown Glory.”
- In 2011, Honey was voted “Best Drag Queen” by readers of the newspaper San Francisco Weekly.
- In 2020, Honey was elected to a seat on the Democratic County Central Committee. Honey became the first black transgender person to win an elected post in California, as well as the first drag queen to win an elected post in San Francisco.
GallerySeason 5 Looks
4th: Detox • 5th: Coco Montrese • 6th: Alyssa Edwards • 7th: Ivy Winters (Miss Congeniality) • 8th: Jade Jolie • 9th: Lineysha Sparx • 10th & 11th: Honey Mahogany & Vivienne Pinay • 12th: Monica Beverly Hillz • 13th: Serena ChaCha • 14th: Penny Tration
Jason Carter • Shawn Morales