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BYE FELICIA

Drag Race Finally Nixes “You’ve Got She-Mail”

RuPaul Born NakedAfter 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.”

By:           matt baume
On:           Apr 14, 2014
Tagged: , , , , , ,
  • 40 Comments
    • Billy Budd
      Billy Budd

      I like the “anything goes” attitude of drag queens. They are colorful, playful, excessive, superlative. I would never date one, but I fully support them.

      Apr 14, 2014 at 4:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thedrdonna
      Thedrdonna

      The mark of a true ally: making the changes when the community you’re allied with points out an error you’ve made. This definitely fits the bill!

      Apr 14, 2014 at 4:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ChgoReason
      ChgoReason

      Cool. Now if she would just stop using Sissy That Walk for the runway presentations. Not every gay guy wants to go around using effeminate mannerisms.

      Apr 14, 2014 at 4:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Icebloo
      Icebloo

      Did RuPaul finally choose a white winner of her show or is she still always fixing it for her black friends to win ? You know, the ones she pretends she never met before the show started.

      Apr 14, 2014 at 5:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Deex
      Deex

      @Icebloo: Ummm you mean like Sharon needles, Chad Michaels or Jinkx Monsoon?

      Apr 14, 2014 at 5:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      I always thought the “You’ve got She-mail” line was funny.

      Then again, I’m not transgender so frankly it never occurred to me. If the trans community thinks it’s a shitty thing to say then more power too them and thanks to Logo for being reasonable.

      Now, to @Icebloo:

      Drag Race has had two black, three white (Including Allstars) and one South Asian winner.

      Apr 14, 2014 at 5:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Caine
      Caine

      That is just asinine – people are far too sensitive. You got she-mail is all right by me – I suppose next thing is they will complain that Ru calls the contestants her “girls”.

      Apr 14, 2014 at 5:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bulls Eye
      Bulls Eye

      @ChgoReason: aw… c’mon. You DO realize it’s a competition for Drag Queens. Right?

      So while NOT every gay man wants to walk swishy, EVERY drag queen HAS to know how to “sissy that walk.”

      Apr 14, 2014 at 6:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • lykeitiz
      lykeitiz

      If the word “queer” hadn’t been owned by the gay community, then Queer-ty would be called Gay-ty. Trans people need to own “She-male” and get over it.

      Apr 14, 2014 at 7:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hotshot70
      hotshot70

      this is SO stupid. In this case “she-mail” is more a play on “e-mail”. People find anything to bitch about and try to start law suits. What next? “Sissy that walk” is offensive? “Charisma Uniqueness, Nerve, Talent” being banned (when the dummies figure that one out). LIGHTEN UP PEOPLE!

      Apr 14, 2014 at 7:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hotshot70
      hotshot70

      also Bianca is a friend of RuPaul’s, so if she ends up winning, I call TOTAL SHENANNIGANS!

      Apr 14, 2014 at 7:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Desert Boy
      Desert Boy

      I’m so tired of all the political correctness. To attack Ru Paul of all the people in the world. I never thought the day would come that I say this but it’s time to drop the “T” from “LGBT”. The trans (am I allowed to call them this?) crowd is ridiculous and never belonged with us anyway.

      Apr 14, 2014 at 8:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kangol
      Kangol

      @Icebloo:

      You seem to be trying hard to stir up r@cist nonsense. RuPaul has repeatedly chosen white winners. Please stop the r@cist nonsense or take it elsewhere. This is Queerty, not Stormfront.

      Good for RuPaul getting her words about trans people together. She’s doing a good thing overall, and everyone can stand to learn ways to make life better and more equitable for others.

      Apr 14, 2014 at 9:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • babybabybaby
      babybabybaby

      @OOOh Hater…Icebloo:

      Apr 14, 2014 at 10:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • babybabybaby
      babybabybaby

      They could get rid of some more things too…..

      Apr 14, 2014 at 10:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ScaryRussianHeather
      ScaryRussianHeather

      I might clutch my pearls when Carmen Carrera stops dancing naked in bars for her fetish audience.

      Apr 14, 2014 at 10:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DarkZephyr
      DarkZephyr

      @Thedrdonna: Thanks for seeing it that way. Elsewhere, sadly, many are calling for the end of drag all together. I kind of want to give you a big hug right now. lol

      Apr 14, 2014 at 11:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DarkZephyr
      DarkZephyr

      I don’t see how RuPaul can be accused of racism. Her partner is white for pity’s sake.

      Apr 14, 2014 at 11:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thedrdonna
      Thedrdonna

      @DarkZephyr: Hehe, just as important as calling for change is recognizing when change has been made in good faith.

      Apr 14, 2014 at 11:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DarkZephyr
      DarkZephyr

      @Thedrdonna: Excellent point! *Big Hugs*

      Apr 15, 2014 at 2:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      Oh for CHRIST SAKE get over it! Its a drag race! Its meant to be cheeky, camp as hell, and sly. Absolutely with hotshot70 on this one. “She-mail” runs along the same lines as when Ru asks the girls to come up with a “herstory” and it was never meant to be anything more than that.

      It really runs to what so many write in various comment sections every day. Don’t like it? Don’t f—–g watch it, and that certainly applies to a certain someone above whining about “Sissy up that walk”. If you find girly guys offensive, what on earth are you tuning in for?

      JESUS CHRIST this is annoying!!! Clearly someone has nothing better to do than stir shit for attention.

      Apr 15, 2014 at 5:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      What will be interesting is seeing how the Trans community handles RuPaul and Logo doing everything that they have asked.

      If the Trans Community KEEPS attacking Ru, then you will see that this has nothing to do with what was said, but rather were targeting a gay show and had another agenda. If they graciously accept the changes we will know that that was exactly what this was about.

      I’m waiting to see if they were being disingenuous because unfortunately some of the really over the top trans activists never miss an opportunity to attack the gay community.

      And this comment is coming from somebody who supported RuPaul changing the language.

      Apr 15, 2014 at 7:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • niles
      niles

      The T’s have really been stirring up the gay hate haven’t they? Not only do they insist on having their own exclusive organizations (that do not support gay rights), they have attacked and forced groups like GLAAd to ban the words gay and lesbian. Now it is drag they are targeting.

      Apr 15, 2014 at 8:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • inbama
      inbama

      @niles: GLAAD is brain dead and tone deaf. Right now they’re promoting a kickstarter so this transwoman can sing and play violin at Carnegie Hall. Uh huh. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pm_xZnlyjik

      Apr 15, 2014 at 8:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Polaro
      Polaro

      fine line between funny and offensive. I sure did not think she-male was on the offensive list. With the proliferation of alternative sexuality and genders its a mine field. Sometimes this stuff gets just a little too stupid to be taken seriously. Seriously.

      Apr 15, 2014 at 9:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      Did anybody else notice in the last episode that Chaz Bono called himself “Heterosexual”?

      And right there is why there seems to be a disconnect in the Trans communities mind when it comes to the gay community. how can you really support the community as a member when at your core you don’t feel like you want to be a part of that group?

      Apr 15, 2014 at 10:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BrianZ
      BrianZ

      @Cam: I understand your frustrations with the current state of affairs under the LGBTQ banner. It can, does, often feel like there is a lot of infighting and ugliness. As far as the hurt feelings over she-mail and similar phrases: I would suggest to you that each of us, as an individual and a group, be allowed to define what we feel is hurtful and to express that freely. I personally don’t see the harm in many of those phrases but I’m not trans, while at the same time if someone utters ‘faggot’ within earshot, there’s going to be trouble. We can have a conversation about it (and it needs to be a conversation, not a blame game) but at the end of the day someone who isn’t gay doesn’t get to tell me that I shouldn’t be bothered by faggot and I don’t think we should be trying to dictate to others how they feel either.

      I agree that we have seen the transgender community at their best lately in expressing those feelings of hurt. I perceive a lot of acrimony and very little respect, and in both directions. Maybe we can all be a bit more kind to and tolerant of one another, even if we don’t have the depth of understanding to truly understand. Perhaps the transgender community is struggling to find their own voice, often finding themselves lost in the loud championing of gay rights? I don’t know. I do know that we, gay men, lesbians and our bisexual siblings, are making terrific progress in the broad society so let’s concentrate on that and continue OUR positive progress forward and not get mired down in anyone else’s negative BS.

      Apr 15, 2014 at 11:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • gskorich
      gskorich

      its too bad people can’t laugh any more

      Apr 15, 2014 at 11:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BrianZ
      BrianZ

      @BrianZ: uhg …. “I agree that we have NOT seen the transgender community at their best ”

      Really … why can’t I have a correct button, just for 5 minutes after posting?

      Apr 15, 2014 at 11:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rocklobster52
      rocklobster52

      I tell you what’s insulting: accusing RuPual – RUPAUL of all people, a gender identity trailblazer and pioneer of LGBT self-acceptance – of being transphobic is just nonsense. Such a waste of energy, considering all the real issues affecting the trans community out there.

      Apr 15, 2014 at 12:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @BrianZ:

      Absolutely, and I was supportive of the word change figuring that Trans community could determine that.

      However, now that the changes have been made, if they continue to attack RuPaul it will be obvious that this was about hatred of the gay community, or RuPaul in general and just an excuse to attack.

      If they say Thank you and stop the attacks then we will know it was genuine.

      Apr 15, 2014 at 1:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • gskorich
      gskorich

      @Cam: why hasn’t anyone complained about ‘sissy that walk’ ? isn’t that a dangerous phrase

      Apr 15, 2014 at 1:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @gskorich:

      I’m sure that’s next.

      Apr 15, 2014 at 2:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Desert Boy
      Desert Boy

      Logo-TV is run by a bunch of cowards.

      Apr 15, 2014 at 3:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Miss Understood
      Miss Understood

      Testing 1 2 3.

      Apr 15, 2014 at 10:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ptay85
      ptay85

      I didn’t think “she-mail” wasn’t wildly inappropriate for a DRAG reality show. However, the mini-challenge where they were to choose female or she-male…not too nice.

      Apr 16, 2014 at 6:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Miss Understood
      Miss Understood

      I don’t know why my comment from yesterday is being held for moderation. I’m a nice lady, I never spammed anyone.:

      Your comment is awaiting moderation. Our system might have erroneously auto-flagged your comment as spam; if so, we’ll fix it quickly. Or maybe you previously abused your commenting privileges, violated our Comments Policy, included a link to a known SPAM/harmful site, posted comments that detracted from the conversation, or have been repeatedly flagged by other users for being a jerk — in which case we won’t publish your comment.
      Apr 15, 2014 at 9:22 am

      Apr 16, 2014 at 12:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HirsuteOne
      HirsuteOne

      @Miss Understood:

      Did you type the word “she m ale” as one word? It’s a banned word in the QUEERTY comment system. I’m not sure if she-male or she male will pass.

      Apr 16, 2014 at 3:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • inbama
      inbama

      Well, there you have it.

      Queerty could’ve avoided all this controversy if they had simply mentioned it was one of their “banned words” to protect our delicate trans flowers from inconsiderate homosexuals exercising their cis privilege.

      Apr 16, 2014 at 6:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jessie R
      Jessie R

      Reposting my comment from a few days ago with slight modifications because a relevant word got it filtered:

      Chaz called himself heterosexual because he’s a guy who likes girls, the fact that he’s a trans guy doesn’t change that. There are plenty of bi/gay/queer trans people, but sexuality and gender are separate. That doesn’t mean that trans people aren’t part of the queer/LGBT/GSM community, because for multiple reasons, sexuality and gender are both sufficient criteria for being in those communities.

      For the record, in my opinion the She-mail pun didn’t seem worth complaining about on its own, but the Female or She-male mini-challenge, which was the main point of contention for most activists, is kind of nasty. It perpetuates the stereotype that there’s something deceptive about presenting as another gender than the one you were assigned (whether for performance or personal identity), that everyone who does so can be clocked, and that clocking those people is a fun game instead of a nasty, rude behavior.

      Apr 17, 2014 at 12:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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