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Peppermint writes blazing op-ed hitting back at RuPaul’s Drag Race ‘trans ban’

Jasmine Andersson March 7, 2018
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Peppermint (Getty)

The first openly transgender Drag Race queen has addressed RuPaul’s comments about transgender contestants taking part in the critically-acclaimed show.

Peppermint, who placed as the runner-up in the latest series of RuPaul’s Drag Race, has addressed RuPaul’s remarks that gender-conforming trans contestants would “probably” not be allowed to feature on the award-winning show in an opinion piece for Billboard.

“Doing Drag Race was one of the best moments of my life. RuPaul kicked open so many doors for queer and gender non-conforming folks and is an absolute trailblazer in the world of drag,” Peppermint wrote.

“When I started my transition back in 2012, I learned a valuable lesson. I learned that absolutely no one has the ability or the right to define your womanhood, manhood or transness, but you. I also learned women should not be defined by what surgeries they have or haven’t had,” she continued.

“…Women, have always been directly and indirectly contributing to the art form of drag. Like voting, driving, working, even eventually the Office of President of United States, drag evolves. My hope is that together, we can uplift all forms of drag, both on TV, and in the real world.

“Unfortunately it won’t be the first or last time we will hear a woman can’t do something a man can. I’m out to change that,” she added.

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)

In an interview with The Guardian this week, Ru said that he “probably” wouldn’t allow trans people to partake on the show as the inclusion of trans Queens would make the show “lose a sense of danger.”

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

“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.

Prior to the message, Peppermint had responded with a series of emoji – disappointed and upset emoji, either way.

Although RuPaul half-attempted an apology on Twitter, he used a flag depicting trains, rather than the trans community, to express his regret – but not before comparing transgender queens to doping athletes.

“My drag was born in a community full of trans women, trans men, and gender non-conforming folks doing drag. That’s the real world of drag, like it or not. I thinks it’s fabulous and I will fight my entire life to protect and uplift it,” wrote Sasha Velour, who bested Peppermint to the title in the ninth season of the show.

Related topics: peppermint, ru paul trans drag comments, rupaul, RuPaul's Drag Race, Sasha Velour, US

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