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RuPaul Shows Disconnect With Trans Issues, Identity, And Insults

A recent interview between drag performer RuPaul and reporters from SiriusXM, OutQ, and HuffPost Gay Voices underlines the reason why one simply does not ask a drag performer about, well, transsexual issues.

The drag performer born RuPaul Andre Charles is kicking off a new season of his show “RuPaul’s Drag Race”, but addressed the recent cancellation of the ABC sitcom Work It. The show featured two men who dressed as women, and was resoundly attacked by transsexual and transgender activists. RuPaul stated “Don’t take life so seriously… We live in a culture where everyone is offended by everything.”

While drag performers are often placed under the auspices of the transgender label, the vast majority of them only take on a female persona (drag queens) or male persona (drag kings) for the purposes of performing and not as a routine part of their lives.

As for the humour bit…I happen to read a variety of webcomics from Quiltbag to Eerie Cuties to Menage a 3, and quite honestly, I also read a lot of Terry Pratchett. Indeed, we here at LezGetReal like a good joke. . .as evidenced by the Monty Python references.

Lance Bass also, apparently, used the word ‘tranny’, and that caused ire among transsexual and transgender activists. Bass later apologized, but RuPaul says that he should not have. The performer stated “It’s ridiculous! It’s ridiculous!… I love the word “tranny”…And I hate the fact that he’s apologized. I wish he would have said, ‘F-you, you tranny jerk!’”

When RuPaul takes off the costume, he is just another guy. He does not face the same kinds of discrimination as the vast majority of transsexual and transgender women do on a daily basis. He is a performer, plain and simple. While drag performers get lumped in with trans people, they are not really trans people. Just because they dress up as women for stage shows does not mean that they are automatically able to understand what our lives are like.



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14 Responses to RuPaul Shows Disconnect With Trans Issues, Identity, And Insults

  1. Joe

    April 19, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Yeah, except THEY are not a cis gay man, THEY do ID as trans…

    • Bridgette P. LaVictoire

      April 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm

      Really? Most drag performers I’ve known or know of aren’t transgender or transsexual- they are cisgendered gay and straight individuals. So, no, they don’t ID as trans.

  2. lisa zang

    April 17, 2012 at 3:13 am

    I think the real point is drag is separate from transgendered & people from both groups can be aware of the struggles/issues of other groups; it’s not ever going to be crystal clear if you don’t live it. At the same time, to get offensive so quickly just makes everyone look bad & helps nothing. It would be nice to show some tolerance & use patience in educating when people get it wrong.

  3. reandee

    April 17, 2012 at 12:14 am

    Bridgette P. LaVictoire, you’re joking, right, that you think RuPaul is a straight man with children? Right? Or did you not know that he’s in a long-term relationship with a man; openly gay; and has no children?

    • Bridgette P. LaVictoire

      April 17, 2012 at 12:17 am

      I believe I said “Last I knew”. . .when I posted that comment, that was the last I knew. I now know he’s gay and doesn’t have children.

  4. DeeCee10000

    January 17, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Brigette, while I understand where you’re coming from, I’m sure RuRu has had LOTS of feedback from all types of people with as many opinions in the 20 yrs he’s been performing / singing / modeling / acting. He is personally indifferent to being called “he” or “she” & probably doesn’t see the point in getting all upset when another person is unfamiliar with the most up-to-date current terminology. I believe he’s done a great job of bringing transgender and cross-dressing issues to the masses in a lighter, positive way. Personally, I think you should be more appreciative of his accomplishments; it takes a very special & courageous person to do what he’s been doing now for 20 yrs.

    • Bridgette P. LaVictoire

      January 17, 2012 at 10:24 pm


      RuPaul is a performer. When he goes home, he takes off the persona. Drag performers have existed for hundreds of years, so yes, I do no see him as an expert on issues relating to the transsexual or transgender communities.

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  7. Dianna Davids

    January 16, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Just because he loves the word and not everyone in our community finds it offensive does not give the license to use it. In my book, if some people in the group find it offensive then I don’t want outsiders telling me that we are not allowed to be offended. That is doubling offensive – offending me and then telling me how to feel. If we use his logic, I get to use any racial slur I want, and I can think of a few to describe him.

  8. Louise

    January 16, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Dizzy coked-out gay men like RuPaul are sooo last century. He ‘Worked it’ in drag so what would anyone expect him to say?

    Would he be thrilled if someone said ‘RuPaul, f-you faggot jerk?’. Hm…

    The mind boggles how ‘some’ gay men are so very out of touch and transphobic.


    • Bridgette P. LaVictoire

      January 16, 2012 at 1:12 pm

      Last I knew, RuPaul was a straight man with children, but I’m not 100% on that.

    • alyr

      January 29, 2012 at 7:44 am

      Coked out? And LOL that you don’t think he’s been told f-u you faggot jerk every day for 40 years, by people on the street, the entertainment community and radio moguls when his music was being boycotted. But if your point is the trans community needs to disassociate itself with the GLB community, I fully agree. Exactly WHEN do you plan to do that?

  9. Delphi Omally

    January 16, 2012 at 2:04 am

    I have been called “freak” only once since 2008. It was by a gay man.