Tygra grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, went to college in Omaha, Nebraska, to study nursing, and there, one night in a bar, they saw a drag performance. “I was 20, not even old enough to be in a bar, slowly coming out as gay,” they say. This was in 2011. They watched the drag queen Chanel Savage work the crowd, and decided at least one part of their future. “I said, Whatever that is, I gotta be a part of it. That has to be me.” Later that year, they made her stage debut, and by 2012 they was competing in drag pageants as Tygra Slarii.