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RuPaul Issues Apology After Suggesting Transgender People Should Not Compete on 'Drag Race'

No one needs to sashay away.

RuPaul Issues Apology After Suggesting Transgender People Should Not Compete on 'Drag Race'
Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

RuPaul, world-famous drag queen and host of VH1's RuPaul's Drag Race is facing backlash from drag performers and transgender people over her comments surrounding transgender drag queens competing on her show.

In an interview with the Guardian last week, RuPaul expressed her hesitation over allowing transgender drag queens onto her show. Drag is considered by many to be a symbol of rebellion against patriarchy and toxic hyper-masculinity in modern culture.

"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," RuPaul told the Guardian. "So for men to do it, it's really punk rock, because it's a real rejection of masculinity." One contestant on Season 9 of Drag Race, Peppermint, identifies as transgender and became a focal point of RuPaul's comments.

When asked if Peppermint should be allowed to compete, RuPaul replied, "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." Essentially, RuPaul is saying that even though Peppermint was still "technically" a man, at least physically, her participation in the show was questionable.

"Probably not. You can identify as a woman and say you're transitioning, but it changes once you start changing your body," RuPaul said when pressed further. "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."

His comments have drawn ire from both drag performers and transgender people.

Some views RuPaul's comments as not only transphobic, but misogynistic as well.

RuPaul has since issued an apology for his comments, wherein he insists he meant no offense. In his apology, RuPaul said that the trans community are "heroes of our shared LGBTQ movement. You are my teachers."

He also issued a tweet saying that "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."

Peppermint issued a succinct, heartfelt response to RuPaul's apology.


But not everyone was satisfied with the apology.

One fan of the show, Phil, felt that "there's no apology over there, she didn't say sorry or anything like it."

But at the end of the day, RuPaul did the right thing by apologizing.