Is it too late to RuPaulogize?!
Seems like Mama Ru is in hot water after an interview that was published by The Guardian in which RuPaul gives great insight into his life as an icon and the purpose behind the global phenomenon of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
During the interview, Ru delineates how Drag is a way to denounce masculinity with the purpose of appearing hyperfeminine, although we’ve seen many versions of drag that are gender-bending:
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 also touches on the over-arching reasoning for why drag is a necessary construct:
For people to do drag and make it their profession in a male-dominated culture, they have to go through so much emotional tug-of-war, because society says, ‘You’re not supposed to do that.’ So, the strength and humanity it takes to maintain yourself and your dreams create many different layers of consciousness. That’s where the humanity comes from.
But when it comes to the subject of transgender competitors on RPDR, a topic that has been highly discussed among drag race face, RuPaul goes in on his philosophy for how trans and drag should essentially remain separate. He first mentions Peppermint, a contestant from Season 9 of RPDR:
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.
Then he was asked if he would he accept a contestant who had.
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.
Peppermint is not the only trans contestant on RPDR, but she was the first openly trans to make it onto the show. Other contestants have either came out as trans on the show like Sonique and Monica Beverly Hillz, while others have come out after Carmen Carrera, Gia Gunn, Kenya Michaels, Jiggly Caliente, and Stacy Layne Matthews. Jinx Monsoon has come out as gender non-binary.
RuPaul has been scrutinized in the past for his opinion about trans drag queens and their place in a competition like Drag Race—and mother sticks to her guns!
Just today, RuPaul tweeted some great shade with respect to the topic:
And Ru’s comments are not sitting well with RPDR alums:
But with the backlash, it seems that RuPaul has responded to make sure that everyone knows that there’s nothing but love for the trans community. And while that may be, fans and Ru followers can’t imagine what RPDR would be like today without the inclusion of some fan favorites who are trans and gender non-binary (see above). And what does this mean for the future of the show and the masses who idolize the drag community?
Still, it’s RuPaul Charles, Supermodel of the World—surely it’s not too late for her to Rupologize.
And then there’s this:
See? It’s obvious that he understands that the same mouth that inspires so many can also hurt others. After all, when approached by producers to create a drag reality show, RuPaul said “I don’t want to do anything mean-spirited.”
What do you think about this controversy in the RuPaul’s Drag Race universe? Do you agree with RuPaul or do you feel like there is room for more inclusion?