Recently, on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6, a huge uproar sparked in the media over transgender terminology. If you’re familiar with the episode I’m sure you remember the mini game “Female or She-male?” Or you may be scratching your head in confusion and thinking “What’s a RuPaul and why is their dirty car race taking place on Logo? Wait, what’s Logo?” (This is probably not your article).
For those of us familiar with the Glamazon’s competition to find the Next Drag Superstar, the show and RuPaul herself have found themselves drowning in the issue that is the Transgender Community. During said episode, immediate uproar exploded because the term “She-male”was used on public television. For those of the world not familiar, she-male is a name sometimes used regarding a trans identified individual and generally in a derogatory manner. Previous seasons, trans-identified “Racers” Carmen Carrera and Monica Beverly Hillz have both stepped up and vocalized their disapproval of such terminology and RuPaul has since apologized, so is the issue over? Probably not.
Personally, I stand on the fence. As a trans-identifying Drag Queen I’ve heard and seen all the terms in the book, and naturally watch RPDR on the weekly, and guess what? I didn’t care. I wasn’t offended and I actually laughed during the scene. Does that make me a hypocrite? F**k if I care.
From my point of view, transitioning is a crazy ass process and obviously the struggle of society’s acceptance is one of the biggest hurdles I face. But quite honestly, there’s nothing “that bad” with a Drag Queen saying “she-male”. I mean for the love of all that is gay, I’ve heard trans-derogatory terms by half of Capitol Hill’s transgender community. If anything I think my acceptance in community is and will be, based off of me as an individual and how I present myself in the community, NOT how I react to a silly word on a television show.
From a drag perspective, it’s really part of common day usage to use different terms and some of a varying degree of offensiveness. And can we agree a drag queen is, by rough definition, a she-male? Maybe we can’t. Quite honestly if someone is a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race and picked up on that derogatory term they have to be familiar with the common slang used in LGBTQ communities. One can only assume Mama Ru has been called every derogatory name under the big gay sun. If anything, her use of “She-male” to me is a claim and turn around of something from negative to positive. For example, the Pink Triangle that once was used to segregate gay Holocaust victims in the Nazi concentration camps nowadays is a symbol of pride and power in our community. Perhaps America’s first Super Model would use her power for good, too?
What I really picked up and noticed from this whole ordeal was that once again someone turned a mouse into an elephant, pulled the minority card, and tried to make a big ‘ol issue out of nothing. And why does someone feel the need to cause the drama? Is it for personal gain? Publicity? Because quite honestly, if you’re gonna be a grown up, learn to shut up, look pretty, and know that making a scene is an immature call out for attention and no better then the Facebook posts we all ignore.
“If you don’t know what that means, go back to High School.”
Haily Hummel is a transitioning woman of the Fishiest Drag Queen/super model/double Monster-fisting/natural blonde located in that one safe area of Seattle. Her hobbies include: insomnia, being pretty and scoring free drinks. You can find her working as a Barbie stunt double during the day and Capitol Hill at night at least once a week. Find her on Facebook for more smart ass remarks!