Nymphia Wind Crowned as First East Asian Queen of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

Season 16 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” has crowned queen Nymphia Wind as its winner.  

After 16 episodes of fierce competition, Nymphia Wind and co-frontrunner Sapphira Cristál found themselves at the top. In their finale crown performance, in which the two lip sync-ed to Kylie Minogue’s “Padam Padam,” Nymphia brought out a show-stopping Boba tea-inspired outfit, complete with helium balloon tapioca pearls, in an intentional nod to her home country. When accepting her crown, Nymphia dedicated her win to Asia and Taiwan. 

Nymphia Wind is the drag queen personality of Leo Tsao, a 28-year-old NYC-based fashion designer. Raised in Taiwan, Nymphia is the first East Asian winner and first Taiwanese winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” She is the second queen of Asian descent, following Raja Gemini’s Season 3 win. Talking to Entertainment Weekly, Nymphia says, “Winning and this validation is beyond. I always wanted to be the first East Asian queen to win and now I’ve achieved that.” Her success on Saturday has become a point of national celebration, as Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen offered her congratulations to Nymphia through a post on X.

Throughout the season, as reported by The Guardian, Nymphia was known for her East Asian inspirations, with odes to Taiwanese temples, Peking opera and above all – the color yellow. Known colloquially as the Banana Buddha, her fans have adopted the title of Banana Believers. 

Moving forward, Nymphia tells Entertainment Weekly what to expect next. “I’m going to make this world more yellow and bananas. I really want to venture out into performance art.” 

Fans, get ready for Nymphia Wind. She might just blow you away.