After weeks of hand-wringing and Very Serious Conversations, Logo is finally doing the right thing and eliminating the phrase “she-male” from the show.
This follows a firestorm of controversy after the show featured a challenge called “Female or She-Male.” They might not have meant any harm, but the show’s use of that word hurt a lot of viewers since it’s used so often as a slur. There may come a day when “she-male” is widely reclaimed, but according to trans advocates, that day hasn’t come yet. And since the future of western civilization does not rest on the ability of a drag queen reality show to say whatever it wants, eliminating a hurtful phrase is probably the best course of action.
And they’re not just pulling footage of the “she-male” challenge. They’re removing the “You’ve got she-mail” segment from new episodes altogether. “We did not intend to cause any offense, but in retrospect we realize that it was insensitive,” said a Logo spokesperson. “We sincerely apologize.”
Ignorant word choices aside, Logo and World of Wonder aren’t really enemies of trans people. Remember, WOW has produced a ton of trans-affirming documentaries over the years. Becoming Chaz, Sex Change Hospital and TransGeneration all dealt honestly with the issues that trans people face, including well-meaning allies who don’t understand that their words are slurs.
GLAAD was instrumental in bringing about this change, and they acknowledge: “transgender programming created by World of Wonder has undoubtedly made the world a better place for transgender people. RuPaul’s Drag Race has also been a platform for positive images of trans people. This includes appearances by guests like trans advocates Chaz Bono, Our Lady J, and Candis Cayne, as well as contestants like Carmen Carrera and Monica Beverly Hillz, who have gained visibility through their participation on the show.”