Gay reality winner explains trans remarks were not derogatory

Ann Turner May 30, 2008
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Project Runway-winning designer Christian Siriano said in a statement to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation that recent comments he made in an interview with Time Out New York were not meant to be derogatory towards trans people.

Known for his often repeated catch-phrase “hot trannie mess,” Siriano made a regrettable comparison between “drag queens and trannies” and “white-trash women and trailer parks.”

Damon Romine, GLAAD Director of Entertainment Media, called the comments made by Siriano in the Time Out New York interview “derogatory slang” and said the Project Runway star now regrets his choice of words.
Siriano spoke to GLAAD yesterday about the interview with Time Out in hopes of clearing up any idea that he is prejudiced against transgender people or drag performers.

In the interview, Siriano was asked what he thought was the “everlasting appeal” of drag.

He replied: “If you think of heterosexuals, they have white-trash women and trailer parks, we have drag queens and trannies. I don’t know if I’m the one who can explain it. It’s, like, drag queens are just there.”

“I wish that my words were not taken in that way,” Siriano told GLAAD.

The 21-year-old designer, who will be dressing Whoopi Goldberg for the Tony Awards, said that his comments to Time Out were — at least in part — taken out of context.

“When I was speaking, some comments that I made were not used in the article. I completely support the fabulousness and amazing fashion inspiration that most transgender people provide.”

During his stint on Project Runway, Romine noted on GLAAD’s cineQueer blog that Siriano “practically invoked the word ‘trannie’ at every turn.”

The designer’s often repeated use of the phrase “hot trannie mess” to describe things he found unsavoury garnered both laughter and criticism.

Romine said that Siriano is now working to eliminate such language from his vocabulary “as he becomes more involved working with and representing the LGBT community.”

© 2008; All Rights Reserved

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