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Bob the Drag Queen challenges Dave Chappelle to stop using trans women as a punchline and start standing up for Black trans lives

Reiss Smith July 24, 2020
Bob the Drag Queen and Dave Chappelle

Bob the Drag Queen has thrown down the gauntlet to Dave Chappelle. (Getty)

Drag Race royalty Bob the Drag Queen wants the world to say Black trans lives matter — especially straight cis Black men.

Bob, most recently seen on HBO’s We’re Here, addressed the Black community’s issues with transphobia and trans-misogyny, calling on Black celebrities — influential straight cis men specifically — to do more.

“I do think the issue with trans lives — especially in the Black community — doesn’t necessarily lie within racism, but it does lie within prejudice and misogyny, specifically trans-misogyny,” she told E! Host Justin Sylvester on the Just the Sip podcast.

“And this is not just something for just the trans people to address, or just the queer people to address. Like, we need, in this world, cisgender straight Black men to stand up and say ‘trans lives matter.'”

The Drag Race season eight winner said that this can’t be limited to “Black academics like Barack Obama and Angela Davis”, specifically calling out Lil Wayne, Jay Z, Jamie Foxx, Wiz Khalifa and Waka Flocka Flame as influential Black men who could make a difference.

Bob the Drag Queen disappointed in Dave Chappelle.

When Justin bought up Dave Chappelle as another example, Bob was quick to express her disappointment in the comedian’s recent reliance on anti-trans material.

“Dave Chappelle’s someone I’ve always looked up to, and his comedy lately has been really doubling down on this idea that trans people are a joke or that trans existence is funny,” she said.

“When Dave Chappelle – who’s one of the most respected Black people in comedy – goes on TV or when Netflix gives him money to say, ‘I can stop laughing at trans people, they’re just so funny’, it validates the idea for other people to double down and agree with him.”

Bob suggested that instead of doing this, Chappelle could “use his voice to say trans people are valid – and he could still be funny”.

“You could use your voice to stand up for trans people.”

Bob and Justin acknowledged that while the Black community has its issues with transphobia, the queer community is just as flawed when it comes to supporting Black trans women.

“Don’t even get me started,” she added.

Bob recently told PinkNews that she’d been forced to have some uncomfortable conversations with her friends about their lack of allyship, specifically those who failed to say Black Lives Matter following the murder of George Floyd.

“I called a couple of them and they were like: ‘It’s not really my thing to use my platform to speak up. I’m just not really political,’” the Drag Race icon said.

“Especially in these times, everyone’s political. All of this directly affects each and every one of us, especially if you have Black and queer friends.”

More: Bob the Drag Queen, Dave Chappelle, Drag Race, Jay Z

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