Honey 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 undergrad at 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-synch.
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 Revlon foundation that matched her skin tone.
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, Alaska Thunderfuck 5000, Detox Icunt, Alyssa Edwards, and others. Mulugeta was the first contestant on the show to hail from 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. 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 a 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.
RuPaul's Drag Race Stats
|Season Competed:||Season 5|
|Mini Challenges Won:||0|
|Time as Team Captain:||0|
|Main Challenges Won:||0|
|Times in Bottom Two:||1 (Ep. 4)|
|Episode Eliminated:||Episode 4|
- Honey and Vivienne Pinay are the first queens to be eliminated in a double sashay.
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