Metro Weekly

RuPaul would “probably not” allow transgender queens who have transitioned on Drag Race

RuPaul said that a transgender woman competing "changes the whole concept of what we’re doing"

RuPaul: American

RuPaul is facing criticism after he said transgender drag queens who had transitioned would “probably not” be allowed to compete in RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Asked if a “bioqueen” — a biological woman — could compete, the Emmy-award winning host told The Guardian that drag is “punk rock” for men because “it’s a real rejection of masculinity.”

“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 said. “So for men to do it, it’s really punk rock, because it’s a real rejection of masculinity.”

The Guardian‘s Decca Aitkenhead then asked about transgender contestants, which RuPaul called “an interesting area,” noting that season nine’s Peppermint was openly transgender but “hadn’t really transitioned.”

Asked if he would allow someone who had transitioned to compete, RuPaul said, “Probably not.”

“You can identify as a woman and say you’re transitioning, but it changes once you start changing your body,” RuPaul continued. “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.”

Since the article was published, there has been widespread backlash, including from Drag Race alumni, to RuPaul’s comments on social media.

Peppermint, who was mentioned in the interview, simply responded with emojis.

Trans performer Jiggly Caliente tweeted: “There’s a revolution amongst the rebels. Pay attention !!! We refuse to stay marginalized and held down while you chose who to take up with you.”

Monica Beverly Hillz, who opened up about her trans status during the filming of the show, said to INTO that “our bodies do not equate our identity…. I’ve always been a woman so what I’ve done to my body or that I hadn’t started hormones while on the show doesn’t take away my identity.”

Willam, who has been critical of RuPaul in the past, commented as well.

Dusty Ray Bottoms, who will appear on the newest season of Drag Race, voiced their opinion through an Instagram story.

“I do believe drag is for everyone!” they said. “My shows have always been an open platform to celebrate drag in ALL WALKS! I’m very proud of and happy for my trans sisters and brothers!”

RuPaul has since taken to Twitter to indirectly respond to the controversy his comments have generated, tweeting, “You can take performance enhancing drugs and still be an athlete, just not in the Olympics.”

RuPaul’s Drag Race cohost Michelle Visage also took to Twitter, but seemed to oppose RuPaul’s comments, telling one Twitter user that women can be “both” drag queens and drag kings.

Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!