Fact Checking the RuPaul and Carmen Carrera 'Tranny' Debate

The Internet has been roaring with debates about the term ‘tranny’ since RuPaul shared his anger about people being offended by the term. Helping to fuel the debate are public tweets and Facebook posts from former RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant, and transgender activist, Carmen Carrera.

Below, we break down the social media postings from both RuPaul and Carmen, as well as provide a fact breakdown at the end.

RuPaul Carmen Carrera Tranny Controversy
Image Credit: Carmen – aceshowbiz.com / RuPaul – newnownext.com

This debate has similar characteristics to that of an abortion debate where pro-life opponents will seemingly never change their stance in the same way that pro-choice opponents won’t change theirs. When it comes to the term ‘tranny,’ it seems that RuPaul and Carmen (as well as both of their supporters) are firmly holding on to their beliefs.

The current, and very public, debate between the two seems to have spawned from an article on Buzzfeed.com that claims a spokesperson from Logo TV told them that they were distancing themselves from RuPaul for his acceptance of the term. In response, RuPaul took to Twitter and said, “Trust! @LogoTV hasn’t “distanced” itself from me, not while I’m still payin’ the f%kin’ light bill over there.” Since then, RuPaul has addressed the issue (and other issues surrounding it) in several tweets over the last day:

  • “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”

Carmen shared the Buzzfeed article on Facebook and added, “What RuPaul doesn’t realize is that the network is full of the younger generation. Use your power for the good, you toughen up, you stop playing the victim, and teach them the right way.” Since then, she has posted extended thoughts about the issue:

  • “I’m never gonna fall back from expressing myself on my social media. This whole drama shows how fucked up our LGBT community is as a whole. We have the opportunity to show “straight” people our world and instead we choose to support negative ways of thinking and the negative influence all the years of abuse have had on our persona. I choose to live on the loving side of things. I don’t need to read you, I don’t need to put you in your place and I don’t need to accept your hateful ways into my being… Just like I don’t have to say that your ugly because you already know that you’re ugly.”
  • “Oh and for the record… I love love love RuPaul as an artist, taught me a lot while I filmed the show, for that I thank him… Don’t know him personally but I respect his years of work in the industry and making a name for himself very much. With that being said, I just have one issue that needs to be cleared up. RuPaul has NEVER fed me. Not even a tic tac lol… I didn’t make it to that round! My career, who I am, my achievements, and my diet are credited to my agent, my friends, my fans and my self discipline. RuPaul ain’t calling Steven Miesel or David LaChapelle to photograph me, RuPaul ain’t calling Elite Model Managment to sign me as a model, RuPaul ain’t calling CNN to cover my VS petition, RuPaul ain’t calling Tyra Banks and VH1 to give me my own reality show, RuPaul ain’t paying for my daughters private school. RuPaul is doing what he loves to do and so am I. We have 2 separate ways of using our platforms and that’s what we can disagree on but one thing is for sure, I’m not paying his bills and he isn’t paying mine.”
  • “Are you serious? You sound so delusional. You try to create a story based on random pieces of your imagination and the opinion of others. If I was all about my money, taking advantage of people, and plugging a TV show then why would I stand by my opinion in such an outward way and not budge even in the face of pure ignorance and hatred? Get a fucking clue. I’m not here to win an audience over. I’ve never been the type to think making scandal will get me popularity. The things that I’ve spoken out about have been issues that I felt needed to be brought up because I believe in what’s fair and because I believe in what’s right. I’m Carmen Carrera. Do some of you even know me personally aside from who you think I am? No. So how can you judge? This battle of respect is something very real to me. I’ve watched my friends get called out in public for not being passable as female and hurt big time about it, I’ve watched my friends in the news that got murdered and never investigated, I’ve watched my friends believe all they can do in life for money is escort. I’m very passionate and believe that every time the LGBT community is featured in the media, people are learning about us. Now more than ever. My thing is, teach them the good of who we are that way it will cause a ripple effect and open the doors for respect and then ultimately lead to more people loving us… Like, aren’t you people getting that? You’re so freaking consumed in stupidity I swear.”

Related: Carmen Carrera Gets Nude for the Life Ball 2014 Poster (NSFW)


We hope you take some time to consider both sides of this debate before you take your own stance. This is a very controversial issue and one that seems to be tearing the LGBT community in multiple directions.

Fact Checking:

  • The Buzzfeed article makes no mention of who the spokesperson from Logo TV is.
  • RuPaul identifies as a gay man, drag queen and transvestite.
  • Carmen Carrera is transgender and identifies as a woman. She was born as a male and publicly announced her gender transition in mid-2012.
  • According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “America’s foremost publisher of language-related reference works,” the term ‘tranny’ is defined as “a transexual or a transvestite.”
  • According to The 15th International Transgender Day of Remembrance 2013 update, there were a total of 238 cases of reported killings of trans people from November 20th, 2012 to November 1, 2013 across 26 countries worldwide.

More facts shared by Courtney Act on Facebook:

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