Trans guy eloquently explains why Drag Race’s first trans masculine contestant is such a big deal
Drag Race welcoming Gottmik – its first competing trans man – to season 13 is more than just an inclusive gesture – it’s “groundbreaking” mainstream representation, as one trans man perfectly explained.
The long-awaited Drag Race season 13 lineup was revealed on 9 December after the first trailer was leaked online, and fans were delighted to meet Gottmik, the first out trans man to feature as a contestant.
It’s a seismic step for a show that has, at times, struggled and been criticised for largely excluding trans queens, and one happy trans man took to Reddit to break down why it’s so important.
“I was absolutely ELATED to hear her immediately talking about being a trans man who does drag,” he wrote on the RuPaul’s Drag Race subreddit. “I was worried that it’d be swept under the rug and ignored, knowing the show’s transphobic history.
“There’s still much to be seen in how they handle the discussion of trans issues during the rest of the season, but even just hearing the phrase ‘I am a transgender man… who dresses like a girl for money’ on pretty much the most mainstream LGBT+ show currently airing was wonderful to see.”
He continued by explaining the dearth of trans masculine representation in the media, noting that while it’s might be considered “beneficial” to avoid the hatred sadly directed at trans women “due to their visibility”, the “frustrating” lack of trans men in media means being left out of important discussions and having no role models to look up to.
“And even when we are represented it’s usually a very masculine (or butch) stereotype,” he added.
“If you’re a trans man who enjoys feminine fashion like me, you often have to justify your transness to everyone you meet, both cis AND trans, otherwise your identity is mocked and called into question and delegitimised.”
That’s why seeing Gottmik, an open, proud and feminine trans man on a primetime TV show like Drag Race is so validating.
“It’s empowering and it makes me feel seen in a way that I’ver never experienced before, even if my feminine interests aren’t specifically doing drag,” the Redditor explained.
“She gives me someone to point at and go ,’Look! It’s not JUST me! I’m not fake, there’s other people just like me!’
“For our community, Gottmik is so important,” he concluded, adding that he hopes the show doesn’t “drop the ball” in discussing her identity. Fingers crossed.