“Bitch, You Need To Get Stronger” — RuPaul Responds To Activists Who Call Drag Race “Transphobic”

RuPaul_1Does the word ‘tranny’ bother me? No. I love the word ‘tranny.’ … It’s not the transexual community who’s saying that. These are fringe people who are looking for storylines to strengthen their identity as victims. That is what we are dealing with. It’s not the trans community. ‘Cause most people who are trans have been through hell and high water… But some people haven’t and they’ve used their victimhood to create a situation where, ‘No! You look at me! I want you to see me the way you’re supposed to see me!’ You know, if your idea of happiness has to do with someone else changing what they say, what they do, you are in for a fucking hard-ass road… I dance to the beat of a different drummer. I believe everybody — you can be whatever the hell you wanna be, I ain’t stopping you. But don’t you dare tell me what I can do or what I can’t — say or can’t do. It’s just words, like, ‘Yeah, you hurt me!’ Bitch, you need to get stronger. If you’re upset by something I said you have bigger problems than you think.”


RuPaul reading p.c. activists who’ve labeled RuPaul’s Drag Race as “transphobic” in an interview on WTF with Marc Marron


H/t: The Daily Banter

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  • tricky ricky

    AMEN!!!!!! you nailed it !!!

  • Todd.Brooklyn

    Amen!!! from me too – I appreciate and applaud your candor, something that is much needed in the LGBTQ community. Thank you for the balls to be fabulous in a dress and say what needs to be said

  • ssnowdes

    Nailed it huh? Amen huh?? I find it hilarious that the same people who rode the bandwagon about the Adam Corolla article recently posted probably will say/think the exact opposite here, i.e. Ru gets a pass because she is seen as “in-group” and gets to let dribble whatever she wants out of her hole. That WHOLE comment she made made reads no differently substantively than would a rant on Fox News about those “uppity gays and their gay VICTIMhood agenda.”

    “dance to the beat of a different drummer. I believe everybody — you can be whatever the hell you wanna be, I ain’t stopping you. But don’t you dare tell me what I can do or what I can’t — say or can’t do.” — dance to the beat of a different drummer my ass, this is the same system justification that people of privilege (minority group members can have privilege, e.g. Ru’s economic [has the means to do “whatever she wants” and cisgender priv).

    Sorry hunty, you don’t get a pass because you have a show on Logo…

  • buybioniconitunes

    I enjoy RPDR but this entire spew just rests on “its YOUR fault for being sensitive”
    what does that even mean?
    Ru is making the assumption that any person who calls you out on something problematic is so offended that they’re at the point of ripping their hair out

    like when comedians use the F-word, as a gay man I’m not “offended” but that doesnt mean I dont find it distasteful and problematic. It has nothing to do with me being a victim.

    People like throwing out the words “politically correct” and “sensitive” but those terms mean absolutely nothing these days unless you want to actually quantify them.

  • newdc23

    This is why I love him because he walks the walk. Freedom from the PC police is beautiful and I applaud him for it. Amen, hunty!

  • Cam

    To everybody saying things about being free from the PC police and praising Ru for doing whatever and saying whatever she wants…

    Remember, they pulled the word from Drag Race and apologized for using it, so I’m not sure what she’s trying to say here.

  • Qjersey

    The entire brouhaha was started by some white privileged trans blogger who regularly “attacks” those she disagrees with or has issues with.

    I find it funny that the most “upset” trans women are the lesbian ones…who seem to be using the 1970s cisgender lesbian playbook indignant anger.

    Ru knew exactly who he was reading when he made those statements.

  • michael mellor

    Ru Paul makes a mockery of the trans rights struggle.

  • ChiChi Man

    Uh… That’s a load of steaming dog sh*t! As one of my trans friends asked: Why is it so important that non-trans people get to use the word? What is so tough about being a little sensitive to a marginalized group?

    I work in the LGBT community and every single trans person I’ve spoken to about this hates that word. Girl, you’re out of touch!

  • Meowzer

    Then why stop the “You Got Shemail” notice on Drag Race this season? If he really believes people need to get stronger and it’s only words, then why cave?

  • Roan

    Right, because that’s the message we send to bullied LGBT youth. You need to get stronger. It’s just words. RuPaul needs to be man and woman enough to apply what he learned in Kindergarten. When you hurt someone’s feelings through your actions, you say “I’m sorry” not “get over it”.

  • DB75

    I believe the point Mr. Charles is making is that while you may make a choice to say this or that or act this way or that way – that is YOUR choice, not his. He is free to act or say in any manner he pleases. If people don’t like it, they can get over it. It’s that simple. If you have a problem with something, have your problem with it. Don’t drag everyone else down to that level just because it makes you feel better.

    I find it interesting that one is “permitted” to have an opinion or say what they want or act how they want – until society starts to tell them they can’t do or say what they want.

    Strange – isn’t that the exact same thing we are fighting so hard against the far right for? To be able to live our lives without someone telling us how to live it?

    I agree with RuPaul. Life sucks. The world is cruel. You can be a victim, or you can be a survivor. The choice is yours.

  • redcarpet

    When did the T word start referring specifically to transgender folk? I understand it’s not ok to use anymore and I don’t, but until the last few years I thought it was short for “transvestite”, as in a person who dresses as an opposite gender but still identifies as their assigned gender? It being used as an oppressive epithet for Transgender (as in their entire life and being doesn’t match their assigned gender) on the level of the N word is recent news to a lot of people. I had only ever heard the T word in drag circles and in reference to drag queens. But that is just what my experience had been up till that point.

  • andy_d

    Politically correct equals passively aggressive. Always has.

  • Nowuvedoneit

    Cheers for Mr. Charles! No one is responsible for how you feel other than yourself. @Roan: he is not bullying any youth he is stating his opinion because he was asked it. Why don’t you do attack those who really are bullying them? If anything people are trying to bully RiPaul into shutting up by attacking him.

  • Merv

    @redcarpet: I don’t get it either. RPDR is a show about drag queens. They have just as much right to the word as transgender people.

  • Wilberforce

    @redcarpet: You’re totally right. The trans community have been inventing things to be offended by since forever. Now they’re trying to appropriate drag slang, and make it off limits. The sad part is that the gay world is so whipped by trans culture, they’ll probably get away with this also.
    I cheer Ru for trying to reclaim drag freedom. And I’m just about fed up with the trans community, from when they defeated enda, to these many years when all we’ve heard from them is how oppressive gay men are. The gay community can let themselves be railroaded by the victim card. But I for one am through.

  • MarionPaige

    From what I’ve read, RuPaul’s drag shit is still on the air because it attracts Straight Women.

  • jayj150

    The same people offended by the ‘T’ word(GLAAD and its word police supporters), also give awards to people like Lisa Lampanelli, who routinely use racial slurs to disparage ethnic groups, and strangely they don’t find her use of those words offensive, blinded by their white privilege.

  • DarkZephyr

    @Wilberforce: And PLENTY of gay men, trust me.

    As for the “T” word, and Logo’s apology, from what I understand the apology was for the She-**** word and not the “T” word. I do not use the “T” word out of respect for my Trans* brothers and sisters but the truth of the matter is that it DOES also signify “Transvestite” and in fact did so long before it referenced transgendered people. RedCarpet is correct. This is how Drag Queens use it. When Drag Queens are accused of “appropriating” the “T” word its by people who definitely do not understand the etymology of the word or the fact that “Transvestite” is a far older word than both “transsexual” and “transgender” are and the “T” word referenced Transvestites (which drag queens are a type of) first. For instance, in the youtube show from “The Stylish” called “Transfashionable” the “Trans” in the word referenced “Transvestite” because the people that were making people over on the show were drag queens. Willam Belli and Courtney Act.

    This interview is unfortunate because Ru did NOT point this out and she is going to come off as completely callous here and this is going to re-spark the entire divisive controversy. I was quite happy that it was over. Now it will be alive again and maybe even worse than before because of this miscommunication about the “T” word.

  • misterhollywood

    At least RP does not self-edit and says what he means. Too many celebs play word games. I have a lot of respect for him.

  • john

    I am very confused…when did Rupauls Drag Race become a show about the transgendered community? I thought it was a show about “DRAG QUEENS”…in no way did i think this show is part of the trans people experience.

    Ok there has been a few contestants who declared on or after the show that they are actually trans instead of “just” drag queens. But that in no way changes the intent of the TV show. Its purpose is to entertain by highlighting the art form of drag performers. All the crazies came out of the wood work to claim the term “She-mail” was offensive to the Transgendered community…when the “TV SHOW” is about “DRAG PERFORMERS” in this case “MEN” dressing/performing as their exaggerated version of the female form.

    Another thing DRAG is NOT real…it is make believe. I know…crazy right?
    The transgendered people that made a big fuss about the show, did nothing other than confuse and misinform the general public about how a “TRANS” person isnt playing a role or acting a part like a DRAG QUEEN/Performer…but being trans is something very different. I just dont see how the two are even close. And to think they are is really SAD and REGRESSIVE!

  • BritAus

    @ChiChi Man: I also work in the LGBT community, and every trans person I’ve spoken to EMBRACES that word.
    They also say, that it’s not just about transexual/gender but also transvestites which is the group Ru is referring to. For 5 and a half seasons no one had a issue. Then one attention seeking, opportunist spews hate worse than Fred Phelps ever did and everyone jumps on the band wagon and gets offended. How many gay guys out there call each other Nellie, Mary, fag, poof … what do you think would happen if a complete stranger walked up to them and tried to dictate what should be spoken and not?
    We all need to lighten up and learn to laugh. There are a lot more serious problems & issues facing us, coming from outside the LGBT community to worry about than what’s said on a tv show who’s audience is mostly LGBT.

  • jongjong89

    I always thought standing up for yourself is a sign of strength not weakness.

  • medcannabis1

    With all due respect to those offended…. Drag race is a show about the Drag community in competition to display the best in dress design, hair and makeup, being sharp on their heels, and about being a good person to represent the ” Drag entertainment segment” of our community.
    What seems to be on display is someone who is suffering from a serious personality disorder and it is on public display.
    I watched hundreds of my friends die from AIDS in the 80’s and 90’s and have seen the evolution of our community as it moves into the light. The ability to marry and be treated as equals under the law… hell even having a show like Drag Race was at one time unthinkable….. and to those who choose to be angry at the world, let us embrace you and try to help you find peace within… we all can learn from this ” reading”, but we must remember that the baggage many carry contributes to how they see and hear the world around them.
    For my humble opinon I have enjoyed Drag Race and the ability to laugh and learn each week from the ” bo/girls of glitter”…

  • gskorich

    good for him, these people need to stop looking for a reason to be a victim. not everything and everyone is ****phobic

  • Teeth

    Didn’t you get the memo? EVERYTHING is about the victim with the biggest voice.

  • srcharls

    What? How is anything about the show “transphobic?” Carmen Carrerra got her stardom from Season 3 and she’s about to be the first trans Victoria’s Secret model. Who the hell is calling it transphobic?

  • Merv

    We’re in sort of an absurd situation here. Communities generally have a right to decide which names they do and don’t want used to refer to them. Many in the transgender community have decided they don’t like to be referred to by the word tr*nny. That’s fine. I don’t use it. But then many in that same community decide that those in the non-transgender community are to be referred to as cisgender or cis, whether they like it or not. And, they say that those in the drag queen community are not allowed to refer to themselves as tr*nny, whether they like it or not. Sorry, but you only get to decide names for your own community, not other communities you are not a member of.

  • jayj150

    @srcharls: ‘..about to be the first trans Victoria’s Secret model’. In what planet?. Just because her twitter followers made an ‘online petition’ does not mean VS decided to hire her.

  • buybioniconitunes

    @BritAus: just because its being brought into the blogosphere and major media outlets now does not mean that “no one” cared for 5 seasons. People have been complaining about that phrase for AGES.

  • Arnold

    I LOVE Rupaul. I LOVE Rupaul’s Drag Race. I agree with Ru’s remarks 100%! Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve followed the old saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Words have power, but only as much as we give them.

    Bring back “SHE-MAIL”, I say! If your feelings are hurt, don’t watch the show!


  • AndrewSotomayorMakeup

    RuPaul has done more to open people’s minds to gender bending ideas, than almost anyone in our culture, and Drag Race has shined light on the talents of more transgendered women than any show on television. The brutal honesty with which she speaks up for love, individuality, diversity, and courage makes her everyone’s biggest ally.

  • Vero55

    @Qjersey: Thank you. Most people don’t get what’s going on here. You understand. Many of these (STEM) lesbians have shown they do not want to have any connection to gay and queer culture and that they don’t respect the long, inter-related history of gay/queer/trans* people (we could go back to the galli of Cybele or up to castrati singers or over to the hijras of the subcontinent for examples). In a lot of ways the tactics of some of these “activists” mirror patterns of abusive behavior favored by conventional abusers—that is, many of them act like entitled white men seeking to silence and control others. And that some of them de-contextualize and re-direct important feminist thinking to do so is even more offensive. This is not to say there aren’t valid issues to address or that Drag Race is above reproach…it’s to say that its difficult for some of us to have solidarity with people who act like abusers and talk about things they clearly don’t understand.

  • Tracy Pope

    How did a group, who are not transvestites, hijack a word for transvestite that drag artists have been using for decades, just to beat said drag artists over the head with it?

    That’s not activism (If I said what it is the word police would make sure it was erased – along with my account).

  • tazz602

    @Tracy Pope: I’ve been saying that for years. It’s all gotten out of hand.

  • ImmortalZelda

    As a transwoman, I despise being referred to as the “T” word. I do however, understand that others like it. I don’t identify as such, simple as that. If other people want to be called that, it’s their business. That’s how they identify. I don’t think transwomen should dictate what transvestites or even what other transwomen decide to call themselves. If they don’t like it, don’t join, or watch, or whatever. It’s fine to raise an objection is someone calls you that and you don’t like it, but if they call someone else that and they like it, who are they to object?

  • justanoldschoolfag

    I never understood why it made any sense to include transgendered people in the gay community even before this new wave of angry dictators emerged. The transgendered community spends an inordinate amount of time telling the rest of the world what to think about them and not much time just being them.

    I support the transgender community’s separatists 100% If you’re so angry that you can’t laugh at Ru Paul and yourself, then you don’t belong in our community anyway. Go be unhappy somewhere else.

  • toberlin

    I totally get that as straight woman (born that way) I have no licence to use any kind of LGBT Slang or Slur here.
    And I think it is a good Thing for everybody to reflect the own Use/Abuse of Words and move on.
    I just see a Problem here: Words with a long Tradition which are used by People who are LGBT without any bad Intention/to put other People down are declared as “intentionally offensive”…
    If you kill all traditional words you gonna kill a part of of the LGBT Culture.And just because my Friends and me do not label eachother I don’t wanna miss that Part in our Culture.

  • jayj150

    @justanoldschoolfag: “…The transgendered community spends an inordinate amount of time telling the rest of the world what to think about them…”. It’s their desperate need for validation. Gay men don’t need to convince anyone of what they are, nor do they attach their manhood to how people see them. We KNOW we are men, all we want is respect. Transsexuals are obsessed with people reaffirming their identity because deep down they are extremely insecure about it; they don’t care about the struggles of LGB people, all they want is for people to see them as and specially to CALL THEM women(or the gender they choose to identify with). Their obsession with policing people’s thoughts and words is a result of that paranoia and incessant need for validation and reaffirmation that they can’t find within themselves.

  • justanoldschoolfag

    @jayj150: completely agree.

  • growly beast

    Why does Rupaul get to decide what is and what isn’t offensive for transsexual and transgender people? Rupaul likes to dress up in pretty “girl” clothes, but Rupaul is still a man when the makeup comes off, and it’s all for funsies.

    My identity isn’t something I can switch on and off. I am always trasngendered, whether I’m going out or hiding in my room.

  • jayj150

    @growly beast: He’s not trying to decide anything for anyone, he is being himself. It’s your kind which is constantly trying to tell others what to think and what to say. It’s so sad you condition your “womanhood” to how others see you.

  • Matt G

    There are a decent number of trans people that are very hostile to drag queens because they effectively “play” with and in gender, the accusation being that a drag queen can at some point “put it in a box” and go back to passing as male. The problem is there are actually some drag queens that either cannot or choose not to become a passable man once the sequins and the stage makeup come off… there is some overlap with drag and transgender people as can be seen with Sonique, Carmen Carerra, and Monica Beverly Hillz on Ru’s show. Ru has always been nothing but supportive and encouraging to those girls whereas some drag pageants/contests would toss them out.

    Honestly, I don’t think the trans people that came for Ru with this came as hard as they did for Heklina and Tr4nnyshack, that had become something of an institution by name and she lost some brand recognition she’d built by changing the name. This Ru thing was pretty minor honestly but it hit a major nerve with a lot of people.

  • justanoldschoolfag

    @mattg: the “problem” is that transgender people think that they are entitled to have a “problem” with what other people do and the words they use.

  • ImmortalZelda

    @growly beast: A big problem with the trans community is that some find a word offensive and others don’t. I’m trans, but honestly I identify more as a lesbian, and I even get along better with lesbians. As I said earlier, I wouldn’t want to be called the “T” word. But that’s just me. If Rupaul likes being called that, who am I to argue? The event was for Drag Queens, not for trans, and unless they addressed us specifically, we have no right to say anything. Let them have their fun.

  • Sethjw75

    We need to focus on intent, not content, and stop wasting time on nonsense like this. Focusing on it is an insult to actual instances of bigotry and discrimination. I’d recommend (re)reading The Boy Who Cried Wolf and instead using that energy against actual foes.

  • justanoldschoolfag

    @sethjw75: yeah, that’s fine, except that the trans agenda seems to be all about content and not intent. They are not my foes…I wish them all the best, but I have nothing in common with them except for being marginalized and that doesn’t make Community.

  • ScaryRussianHeather

    @growly beast:

    Because the very word TRANSGENDER is an umbrella term that always HAS and always WILL historically include drag queens and other non binary people.

    TRANSGENDER IS A SPECTRUM and just because you’re further on one end than some drag queens does NOT give you the right to invalidate their experience or identity.

    When Jinkx Monsoon stated she identified as Transgender during the Liza Minnelli/Ellen drama, ya’ll gave her a ration of crap for it and she was forced to make an unnecessary apology and stated : Well I don’t know what you’d call me then, because I certainly don’t identify or live my life as a man. I fall somewhere in the middle/grey area.

    Perhaps it would help if you start to consider some other people and not fixate on YOU.

  • ScaryRussianHeather

    A fabulous tribute to RuPaul from elsewhere on the internet, also touching on Carmen:

    In part,:

    “…Turning away RuPaul as an ally? For f*ck sakes. Are you kidding me? RuPaul makes jokes, he’s a f*cking man in a dress. You know, just because you “feel it more” and this is “who I am” doesn’t mean people aren’t going to look at RuPaul and you and know the difference. We should f*cking be so lucky to have such a famous person already digging out the path for us. When people ask me what I am, I tell them and they always, nearly ALWAYS ask me back “Kind of like RuPaul?” AND I SAY YES BI!CH EXACTLY LIKE RUPAUL. I don’t need people to know the ins and outs of who I am, because I know they RECOGNIZE that there are people like me out there and it becomes more personal for them. THANK RuPaul for putting himself out there so we didn’t have to.

    …You don’t want to tell people whether or not you still got some dangle? Well then don’t go on TV to talk about your gender! Of course people will ask those questions! What the f*ck do you think? This is new and interesting and even a little bit strange for “mainstream” people and if you would just f*cking answer it for them they could put a better package together in their minds and then come to accept it. I will gladly tell people that I have a d!ck hiding inside my walmart pajama bottoms right now if they are genuinely curious. If someone’s curious, they’re not afraid.”

  • Qjersey

    We should just ditch the “transgender umbrella”

    Maybe replace it with the “Gender Variance Umbrella”

  • Kangol

    Miss Thing needs to get it together and cut the transphobic bullsh*t straightaway. She may be attached to “[email protected]” and similar terms, but many trans people find them hateful and harmful, dismissing and offensive, and Ru knows better. I get where she’s coming from but she can do a world of good by changing her rhetoric. ASAP.

  • meatmuffin

    Okay, this is killing me because it’s been on multiple posts recently:

    Marc MARON, not Marc MARRON

    Although props for getting the Marc right.

  • bnard620

    So I’m not entirely sure, but I always thought [email protected] or [email protected] applied to people who dressed up but still considered themselves the gendered they were before they put on the clothes. While Transgendered applied to those that identified as a different gender, aren’t they both different things. So then [email protected] or [email protected] was more applied to Drag queens, right? Then if people that use [email protected] as a derogatory word and use it against the Transgendered population, shouldn’t the conversation be turned to the people that are purposely using it in a derogatory way and not those that are using in a way that is not aimed at the Trans community but more at the drag community? let me know if I’m wrong

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