Entertainment :: Culture

Video :: Trans ’Drag Race’ Contestant Used ’Tranny’ in Interview

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Tuesday Jun 3, 2014
  • PRINT
  • COMMENTS (0)
  • LARGE
  • MEDIUM
  • SMALL
Carmen Carrera
Carmen Carrera  (Source:Facebook)

After weighing in on the ongoing "tranny" debate earlier this year, a video surfaced this week showing transgender star and former "RuPual’s Drag Race" contestant using the controversial word in an interview, Instinct magazine reports.

Carrera, who has made headlines for becoming a trans model and for promoting transgender rights on a national level, has been critical of the word "tranny," especially when it is being used by drag queens like RuPaul, who has come under fire over the last few months.

In April, Carrera, who appeared on season three of the popular Logo reality show, took to Facebook to respond to anti-trans language used on "Drag Race."

I am certain ’RuPaul’s Drag Race’ didn’t mean to be offensive, let this be a learning experience. I think the show has opened up and educated the minds of many people who were ignorant to the world of drag and has made equality and respect a possibility for those involved, not only as equal beings, but as phenomenal artists. There has always been a huge presence of trans artists in the drag scene. ’Shemale’ is an incredibly offensive term, and this whole business about if you can tell whether a woman is biological or not is getting kind of old. We live in a new world where understanding and acceptance are on the rise. ’Drag Race’ should be a little smarter about the terms they use and comprehend the fight for respect trans people are facing every minute of today. They should use their platform to educate their viewers truthfully on all facets of drag performance art. ‪#‎SheHasSpoken‬

Despite the criticisms, RuPaul defended the use of the word in an interview with Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast.

The iconic drag queen also took to social media after Logo released a statement to BuzzFeed "distancing" itself from Ru.

"Forget an outside threat, the ’Gay Movement’ will eat itself from the inside out #OrwellAnimalFarm," Ru wrote. "Orwell’s book ’Animal Farm’: The pigs didn’t really want a revolution, they just wanted to BE ’Farmer John.’ The absurdity! It’s as if Jay Z got offended by Kanye using the word ’Nigga.’"

Ru added: "It’s not the word itself, but the intention behind the word. Trust! @LogoTV hasn’t "distanced" itself from me, not while I’m still payin’ the f%kin’ light bill over there. I’ve been a ’tranny’ for 32 years. The word ’tranny’ has never just meant transsexual. #TransvestiteHerstoryLesson. I’m more ’offended/hurt;[ by the misuse of the word ’community.’ Pop will eat itself... So will the ’Gay Movement.’ My intention is to always come from a place of love, but sometimes you just have to break it down for a motherf%ker."

After Ru’s remarks, Carrera posted an image on Twitter, summing up her disapproval, which you can view here (via Instinct).

In the recent video, Carrera doesn’t seem to be using the word "tranny" in a pejorative way, however.

"I work with a lot of trannies. I do their makeup," she says.

Carrera responded to the video Tuesday and explained that when she made the comment, it was when she first started out in drag, before she came out as a trans woman. She said:

This issue is about public respect and you’ve clearly proven my point by coming out of character in your hateful replies and postings. So, thank you for that... if you think for a couple of moments, you would understand that my experience started in the gay nightlife/drag life. I was just as consumed in ignorance about what is offensive to transpeople because at that time I hadn’t found myself. I was living as a drag performer only. Respectable transwomen were not as visible and very unclear in how they defined themselves. I had no one to look up to, pre-transition. All I knew was what I learned in the club scene.

I had to live that experience myself in order to understand the real life struggles OUTSIDE of the LGBT community. I’ve gotten to know transgirls who live as ordinary women in society, who have blended in and don’t necessarily need to be a show girl to feel accepted or feel the need to work in the sex industry. Through those women I learned how to gain respect for myself as trans and also how unfair society treats/degrades transwomen.

Tranny/Shemale are offensive. Period. Whether you want to grow up and accept it or not. All the girls I’ve seen come out and defend these words are girls that either work in or are part of nightlife extensively. There is a real world out there. People who want to learn. I was and still am one of them. When I speak, I speak from my own experience and still, for me, my life experiences have only just started...

It’s unclear when the interview took place but the video was posted to YouTube on June 1 and offers the following description: "i [sic] respect carmen [sic] and admire her, but if your [sic] going to call out rupaul [sic] for using the word, at least call out yourself as well. as above and below."

UPDATE: The video has been taken down from YouTube.

Comments

Add New Comment

Comments on Facebook