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RuPaul compares transgender drag queens to doping athletes, doubles down on Drag Race ‘ban’

Nick Duffy March 5, 2018

RuPaul has doubled down on controversial comments suggesting he would not allow transgender women on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

The drag legend, who has spoken out repeatedly against “PC culture”, was on the receiving end of a social media backlash this month over an interview in which he suggested transgender drag queens who take hormones were not welcome on Drag Race.

In the interview, RuPaul Charles said he would “probably not” allow a transitioning woman on Drag Race.

The reality TV star was called out by a string of former Drag Race contestants over the remarks – but has now doubled down on his comments.

The 57-year-old took to Twitter to respond to the backlash, comparing transgender drag queens to athletes on steroids.

He said:  “You can take performance enhancing drugs and still be an athlete, just not in the Olympics.”

The comments have led to a further wave of criticism.

The TV star was originally asked by the Guardian if he would allow a transgender woman on Drag Race.

He said: “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.”

The show has had a number of trans-identifying contestants in the past, most notably Season 9 queen Peppermint (Agnes Moore). Several other queens have openly spoken about having feminising cosmetic surgery prior to competing on Drag Race.

But RuPaul said: “Peppermint didn’t get breast implants until after she left our show; she was identifying as a woman, but she hadn’t really transitioned.

“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.”

Rupaul's Drag Race final with Miss Peppermint and Sasha Velour
Rupaul’s Drag Race final with Miss Peppermint and Sasha Velour (Photo by VH1)

RuPaul has been called out by many in the drag community over the remarks.

Former Drag Race contestant Courtney Act – who has publicly clashed with RuPaul before over transgender issues – wrote: “The revolution is intersectional and so is drag.”

In an Instagram post, former contestant Monica Beverly Hillz, who identifies as trans, added : “I have 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.”

She added: “For many of us as trans women, we do drag as a form of survival to support our very ability to start medical transition

“Everybody should be given the opportunity to compete [on the show]. I know I have a lot of trans friends who already perform and would make fierce competitors on the show.

“We’re really missing out on the important and powerful stories of trans women who have had to fight against not only homophobia, but transphobia, even in the drag world. Now THIS would make for some good reality TV.”

Gina Gunn

And former contestant Gia Gunn added: “Makes me so sad that our own leader doesn’t even see us as valid competitors in a world that’s supposed to be ‘all inclusive’. I’ve felt this was the case for many years but now it’s presenting itself in the flesh and showing its true colours.”

LogoTV did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Many former Drag Race star identify as trans.

In addition to Peppermint and Monica Beverly Hillz, contestants who have publicly identified as trans include Gia Gunn, Kenya Michaels, Jiggly Caliente, Stacy Layne Matthews, Carmen Carrera and Sonique.

Related: Mick Jagger stopped by a gay bar to watch RuPaul’s Drag Race stars

More: Drag Race, LGBT, rupaul, RuPaul's Drag Race, Television, Trans, Transgender, US

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