After Backlash from Fans & 'Drag Race' Stars, RuPaul Rupologizes for Transgender Comments

Tuesday March 6, 2018

RuPaul is apologizing for comments he made in a new interview with the Guardian, in which she said he'd "probably" not allow a transitioning drag queen to compete on "RuPaul's Drag Race," which sparked an online backlash from fans and the show's stars alike.

Speaking with the Guardian, the 57-year-old Emmy-winning host said the topic of trans drag queens is "an interesting area," adding he feels performers can identify as a woman and do drag but that he isn't sure they can do drag with a female body. When asked if he'd allow a contestant who has fully transitioned, Ru responded by saying:

"Probably not. You can identify as a woman and say you're transitioning, but it changes once you start changing your body," he told the newspaper. "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.'"

Ru went on to say that he believes drag loses its "danger" when it's not men performing.

"At its core, it's a social statement and a big f-you to male-dominated culture," he said. "So for men to do it, it's really punk rock, because it's a real rejection of masculinity."

"Drag Race" has featured transgender contestants in the past, most recently Season 9 star Peppermint, who made it to the finals that season. In the Guardian interview, Ru mentions Peppermint and discusses her body.

"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 said.

Other "Drag Race" stars have come out as trans after competing on the reality show, including Sonique, Carmen Carrera, Stacy Layne Matthews, Jiggly Caliente, Kenya Michaels and Gia Gunn. Monica Beverly Hillz came out as trans while on the show in Season 5.

It didn't take long for fans to take issue with Ru's comments, making the voices heard online. You can read some of the tweets by clicking here. But Ru seemed to initially double down on her stance, tweeting on Monday: "You can take performance enhancing drugs and still be an athlete, just not in the Olympics."

That's when several "Drag Race" stars took to social media to address the controversy, including Season 9 winner Sasha Velour, Gia Gunn, BenDeLaCreme, Adore Delano, Willam, Tatianna, Jiggly Caliente and more.

The outcry from both fans and "Drag Race" stars seemed to impact Ru, who eventually returned to Twitter Monday to offer an apology for her remarks.

"Each morning I pray to set aside everything I THINK I know, so I may have an open mind and a new experience," Ru wrote. "I understand and regret the hurt I have caused. The trans community are heroes of our shared LGBTQ movement. You are my teachers."

He added: "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."

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