RuPaul addresses transmisogyny after backlash from former Drag Race contestants

“I understand and regret the hurt I have caused. The trans community are heroes of our shared LGBTQ movement.”

RuPaul has addressed the misogynistic comments he made regarding trans women after coming under fire from former Drag Race contestants.

In an interview published over the weekend with The Guardian, RuPaul said: “Drag loses its sense of danger and its sense of irony once it’s not men doing it, because at its core it’s a social statement and a big f-you to male-dominated culture. So for men to do it, it’s really punk rock, because it’s a real rejection of masculinity.”

He then addressed openly trans contestant Peppermint’s participation on the show, saying: “Mmmm. It’s an interesting area. Peppermint didn’t get breast implants until after she left our show; she was identifying as a woman, but she hadn’t really transitioned.”

When asked if he would let a fully transition queen compete, he said it wasn’t likely.

“Probably not. You can identify as a woman and say you’re transitioning, but it changes once you start changing your body.

“It takes on a different thing; it changes the whole concept of what we’re doing. We’ve had some girls who’ve had some injections in the face and maybe a little bit in the butt here and there, but they haven’t transitioned.”

The Drag Race host then caused further controversy when he suggested that transitioning women would have an unfair advantage on the show: “You can take performance enhancing drugs and still be an athlete, just not in the Olympics.”

Yesterday, several Drag Race contestants commented on the controversy and criticised RuPaul, including reigning season nine queen Sasha Velour.

“My drag was born in a community full of trans women, trans men, and gender non-conforming folks doing drag. That’s the real world of drag, like it or not. I thinks it’s fabulous and I will fight my entire life to protect and uplift it,” tweeted Sasha.

Gia Gunn – who came out as trans after competing on season six – said: “Trans women were the first entertainers I ever saw in drag & have always been a big part of the industry. To now hear such words of segregation from an icon who has created a world wide community of unity, makes me sad. Is never been LGB so let’s not forget about the T!”

BenDeLaCreme also tweeted support for the trans community: “My partner of almost three years is trans, and #bendelachrist help anyone who tries to tell him what he can and can’t do. Just sayin’.”

“Any human can pick up a box of color & create their inner superhero,” said Adore Delano. “I wouldn’t be the drag artist I am today if it weren’t for my trans brothers & sisters. Every type of expression is valid & that’s coming from the “tomboy of drag”.

See all the reactions below…

RuPaul finally addressed the controversy on his Twitter account: “Each morning I pray to set aside everything I THINK I know, so I may have an open mind and a new experience. I understand and regret the hurt I have caused. The trans community are heroes of our shared LGBTQ movement. You are my teachers.”

He then reiterated a line from the season five finale of Drag Race: “In the 10 years we’ve been casting Drag Race, the only thing we’ve ever screened for is charisma uniqueness nerve and talent. And that will never change.”

RuPaul’s current season of Drag Race – All Stars 3 – airs Thursdays on VH1 in the United States and Comedy Central in the UK.

The season features fan favourites from Drag Race competing for a second chance (and in some cases, third) at becoming America’s Next Drag Superstar.

Watch the queens serve their finest golden eleganza in the All Stars 3 trailer below.

Related: How will the latest shock exit from Drag Race All Stars 3 affect the winner? 



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