RuPaul is apologizing for some comments he made in a recent interview about why he wouldn’t allow a transgender drag performer to compete in his reality show, “RuPaul’s Drag Race”.
The drag icon, 57, recently spoke with The Guardian and made some remarks that did not please the trans community.
RuPaul made the comments when discussing two performers — season nine’s Peppermint and season five’s Monica Beverly Hillz — who came out as trans after they appeared on “Drag Race”.
“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,” he explained.
As for whether he thinks trans women should compete on the show, he added: “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.”
As RuPaul sees it, the concept of drag and transitioning are vastly different. “Women don’t really dress like [drag queens]. We are wearing clothes that are hyper-feminine, that represent our culture’s synthetic idea of femininity,” he 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.”
Two days after publication of the interview, RuPaul took to Twitter to offer a public apology. “I understand and regret the hurt I have caused,” he wrote. “The trans community are heroes of our shared LGBTQ movement. You are my teachers.”
In a subsequent tweet, he appeared to back off his stance that trans drag performers shouldn’t be competing on “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,” he added. “And that will never change.”