RuPaul Blasted For Transphobia By The Advocate; Not Everyone Agrees


Logo announced on 14 April 2014 that “it has decided to remove the term “she-male” from future episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and pull a recent episode that featured the word.” This came about after weeks of direct negotiation on how to proceed. My critics have also published an open-letter response to this article, in which the authors and the letter’s signatories take issue with my criticisms. Big Freedia won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Reality Series, and I was proud to be present at the event, supporting World of Wonder and all their remarkable work for the trans community.


“I fucking hate @RuPaul.”

Normally, a journalist making this pronouncement wouldn’t also report “objectively” about RuPaul that same day, but editors at LGBT website think this lack of ethics and professionalism by writer Parker Molloy is A-OK. It perfectly summarizes the current state of post-disruption journalism and its unhealthy addiction to Twitter, as well as the brain drain that has happened in LGBT media.


When not expressing hate for subjects of her reporting, Molloy is part of the eyeroll-inducing “hashtag activist” movement currently infecting the internet. Rants and beta male humorlessness once limited to blogs and social media are now creeping into other outlets. In a sign of the times, The Advocate, a venerable and respected LGBT print magazine founded almost 50 years ago, is now a separate entity from The website is overseen by a separate editorial team who favors bloggers and tweeters like Molloy over journalists; quantity over quality. Molloy’s specialty is trafficking in outrage, the basest coin of the internet, and is harnessing Molloy’s background as a search engine marketer in its current deathmatch with HuffPo Gay Voices.

ru-judge-lookWhy does Molloy, who is transgender, fucking hate RuPaul? Ru used the word “shemale” recently on RuPaul’s Drag Race and has unapologetically used a number of other taboo words over several decades, like “tranny” and what-not. Imagine that, a drag queen breaking a taboo! Any entertainer deals with hecklers, and Molloy is one of RuPaul’s. Heckler culture has grown stronger as we devolve into a society of media consumers, where everyone is a critic. The only difference between a heckler and a critic is manners, and now hecklers are apparently considered journalists.

Disdain for drag in general and RuPaul in particular has occasionally flared up from folks who transition from male to female with the zeal of a religious convert. They often dabble in online heckling like this before they inevitably flame out. The internet allows these shut-ins to spend their waking lives online, agreeing with like-minded victim cultists who share their views of acceptable transgender thought and behavior. These trans folks have developed their own pseudo-academic jargon like cis-het, which means “cisgender heterosexual,” which itself means “non-transgender straight person.” Most trans folks throwing around cis-het would have been labeled cis-het themselves a few years ago. It’s noteworthy that the most vocal anti-RuPaul hecklers are trans women who are primarily attracted to women. These newly-minted queers are derided as Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) by the anti-heckler movement. The burgeoning backlash forming on 4chan and Reddit mocks SJWs as privileged pseudo-activists who seek to hurt others using the hard-earned weight of actual political movements.

Bret Easton Ellis calls these online hecklers Generation Wuss, oversensitive precious snowflakes raised on smugfuckery via LiveJournal, Twitter, and Tumblr. They exist in every subculture and demographic, and these internecine battles rarely move beyond a community squabble. In the LGBT community a hallmark of this online “activism” is little direct face-to-face interaction with the larger community or our critics. Their primary idea of activism is insulting someone they don’t like with a tweet or post involving the crutch word fuck. So fucking brave! Like all hecklers, their attention-seeking behavior helps these self-haters feel better about themselves.

While experienced activists seek to build bridges and establish empathy between cultures, these elitists’ ideas of success involve extracting apologies from media figures for perceived slights. This just drives intolerance underground, where it manifests in more pernicious ways, winning very few over to a new way of thinking and entrenching everyone. Witness #CancelColbert.


Long-simmering anger about RuPaul hit a boiling point this month. Ru had been getting away with a different “You’ve Got She-Mail” gag on the show for a long time, but a recent episode aired a “Female or Shemale” segment, asking participants to guess whether a closeup was a drag performer or a non-trans woman. This evoked a sordid history of similar media, like Maury Povich episodes and websites presenting similar quizzes to identify the trans woman among non-trans women. In trans-land, shemale is probably the most taboo of the taboo words in the lexicon. It was popularized through its use in the most transphobic book ever written, The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male.

The term has come to be used almost exclusively in pornography and sex work. It easily beats out tranny, he-she, shim, and a host of hilariously offensive rhyming slurs like chicks with dicks, dolls with balls, sluts with nuts, or guys in disguise. I have personally expressed my concern about the term shemale directly to the Drag Race producers. They have issued an apology. Remarkably, the hecklers also sought to extract concessions from LGBT media watchdog GLAAD for not acting quickly enough. Effective activism takes time and involves negotiation, and I was amazed to see that GLAAD felt they had to defend themselves for not racing to Twitter and “solving” things there.

Calpernia Addams

Just as gay people can be homophobic, trans people can be transphobic, and it’s not just limited to RuPaul’s recent controversy. One of Molloy’s other targets is my friend Calpernia Addams, one of many trans entertainers who came up through working in clubs as showgirls before making a gender transition. For much of the 20th century, this was the trajectory of most trans women, working alongside drag performers, but living full-time as women outside of work. As trans people become more visible and come out sooner, we have many more employment options. Recent transitioners like Molloy, who did not identify as gay before transition, are more likely to have other options, but they also often have a disdain for gay and drag culture. This is nothing new. Christine Jorgensen, who transitioned amidst an unprecedented media frenzy in 1952, was virulently homophobic and sought to distance herself from being associated with gay people. This separatism between drag and trans persists, similar to separatism some seek between crossdressers and those who live full-time in their chosen gender. Trans separatists like Molloy also spend a lot of time fighting online with lesbian separatists, some of whom reject trans lesbians the same way these trans lesbians want little to do with crossdressing or drag. The internalized transphobia behind this separatist impulse happens in any community that is finding its voice, and it’s flaring up again in the trans community.


Among the most problematic behaviors by trans separatists like Molloy is use of the term drag queen as a transphobic slur against other trans women whose politics they don’t like, including Addams and trans model Carmen Carrera. Carerra appeared onRuPaul’s Drag Race prior to transition, so she is compromised and complicated from a separatist’s point of view. After I complained privately to editor Lucas Grindley about Molloy’s recent deliberate slurs against Calpernia, Grindley claimed Molloy’s attack was merely an “error.” Calling assimilated transgender people drag queens or crossdressers is a transphobic slur as time-honored as using their old names or former gender pronouns as insults. As I patiently explained to Grindley, if I publish a piece reporting that “Parker Molloy is a self-hating skin transvestite,” then tweet a half-assed non-apology, my use of a transphobic slur is not an error. It would be neither journalistic nor ethical, and more reputable editors would consider it a firing offense. Grindley has refused to speak with me by phone, and has refused to meet with me in person, and has refused to let me run an op-ed (hence this piece). I tried every avenue to resolve this dispute like professional journalists. Grindley is apparently too busy heckling Calpernia on Twitter about “Ugly Hearts,” her typically sweet and quirky song about internet bullying. Turns out Grindley is just further evidence of the heckler-as-journalist trend.

So now this professional dispute is public, and the dirty laundry is getting aired. The usual suspects are trolling on Twitter, and no one is really listening to each other. I used to spend a lot of time arguing on the internet. I came to see it as a form of procrastination. A search of USENET will find the exact same arguments getting rehashed by trans people since the dawn of the internet. Each new wave of users has to develop their views and voice by whatever technology is ascendant at the time, but arguing on Twitter is like debating via bumper stickers. It’s the worst of two worlds: heckling and gotcha-style journalism.

LGBT reactionaries have been throwing drag performers under the bus since the movement’s origins. You’ve seen them; elitists in our community upset at flamboyance at Gay Pride parades and so on. Transsexual women in the media who step outside the lines of “acceptable” behavior and language get the same transphobic shaming. Respectability politics will always be in conflict with drag, an art form with countercultural subversion at its heart. When these parvenus create new taboos around language, they’re practically begging drag queens and kings to violate these taboos. If it’s a choice between siding with the language police and siding with offensive artists, I’ll always side with the artist willing to risk the consequences of making an offensive joke. The right to offend people is a cornerstone of the LGBT movement, and I will always defend anyone who offends our community’s finger-wagging schoolmarms. Every movement and community needs jesters.

Andrea James

A few years ago I helped restore Queens At Heart, a rare color documentary of pre-Stonewall Manhattan LGBT social life. There was no separation of drag and trans, nor was there 25 years later in Paris Is Burning. We’re all in this together. Some elitists have even proclaimed that RuPaul isn’t trans. Guess I’d better burn my first edition of Leslie Feinberg’s seminal work, Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to RuPaul. My transgender tent proudly includes crossdressers like Dennis Rodman, or drag queens like RuPaul, or people who identify as shemale, or those throwing around the word tranny, or those whose antics anger or embarrass me. They’re still part of my trans family.

For the record, I don’t fucking hate @RuPaul. I’ve respected and admired Ru for a quarter century. I also respect and admire everyone at World of Wonder, who have created more positive transgender media depictions than any production company in history, from Transgeneration, to Becoming Chaz, to Drag Race, to my own work with them. They have been honored by the industry and the community time and again for their unwavering commitment to covering overlooked segments of the LGBT community, like their remarkable Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce, currently nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Reality Series.

Speaking of peanut butter, this week I picked up the new RuPaul candy bar, because proceeds benefit our local LGBT shelter. Then I picked up some Viva Glam lip color at MAC, which has raised millions for AIDS research since they took a risk and made Ru their face 20 years ago.

I fucking love RuPaul. I fucking love drag. I fucking love everyone, even fucking stay-at-home transactivists and fucking unprofessional journalists.


Andrea James is a writer, director, producer and activist based in Los Angeles. Her essay was originally published with the title “I fucking hate @RuPaul” on Boing Boing

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  • Zodinsbrother

    Perhaps things would go better if instead of shouting “phobia” at people we just spoke to them nicely about how what they said or did might offend some.

  • buybioniconitunes

    Perhaps things would go better if instead of shouting “phobia” at anti-gay politicians we just spoke to them nicely about how what they said or did might offend some.

  • AnitaMann

    I’ve never understood why trans was part of the LGB movement. One is about sexual orientation and the other is about gender identity. The two groups face totally different types of discrimination for different reasons. It’s really time the two movements separated and fought their own battles.

  • AnitaMann

    And is a terrible website.

  • Ottoman

    It’s cute when queerty complains about brain drain when they can’t even figure out how to run spell check on half their stories. Not to mention the queerty homepage which is just a bunch of shiny pictures with 10 words or less — that’s different from twitter how?

    Hating Rupaul over, say, Scott Lively is kinda dumb but perpetuating the hate speech against the trans community for a cheap laugh isn’t cool. No different than using f*g or n*gger or c*nt.

  • Franco C.

    It’s possible that I’m wrong, but Molloy seems to be struggling with some self-loathing that hopefully she will see herself through. I never understand why people want to identify as anything other than being a caring, compassionate, understanding human being. At the end of the day people are going to use words that upset us, it’s not our job to shame or scream at them, but rather to deal with it, open a dialogue and listen. We can’t police everyone’s thoughts. Just be kind. Why is that so challenging? The Internet has provided a forum for people to say things to each other that they would never say to anyone’s face. It’s not brave to hide behind a keyboard.

  • gauty

    Wow. Thank you for an incredibly well written, thoughtful article, in which you give voice to a lot of concerns I had about this recent brand of virulent hate-activists, concerns that I was still not informed enough to formulate with enough nuance. These people are crawling all over Tumblr lately, and it’s exactly what you say; most of them are a bunch of self-loathing, privileged hashtag-activists that can’t see anything past their hatred of cis-het, white society. i find all this very worrying.

  • Austrian

    Ten or twenty years ago trans and drag queens stood side by side in clubs and in protests. Now, trans activists are always looking for a way to be offended by the gay community. Either way, the T in LGBT can go now, as far as Im concerned. We have absolutely nothing in common with each other and we have different agendas.

  • Bobby Christina Crawford

    I learned a long time ago that even disliking RuPaul is against gay law. I learned to live with that. However, I drew the line at World of Wonder shoving Tori, Spawn of Love Boat down our throats.

  • BJ McFrisky

    Agreed. Trans people are the first to explain that they’re heterosexuals trapped in the wrong body, not homosexuals interested in the same gender.
    So let’s drop the T, and while we’re at it, let’s drop the B, because bisexuality doesn’t merit any form of identity or uniqueness, only the ability to be sexually ambiguous.

  • Cam

    @Bobby Christina Crawford:

    Your screename should be a puzzle on Wheel of Fortune. Awesome!

  • AllenSF

    @AnitaMann: I could not agree with you more. I have never understood the Trans thing being part of the Gay and Lesbian struggle they are two completely different things. I have no issue with my gender but I am into other guys, thats all. I suppose they are lumped together because they are all considered “sexual minorities”.

  • jparmstrong


  • Desert Boy

    The Advocate is the print-version of Andrew Sullivan.

  • Lvng1tor

    I think what we need to focus on is not the subject of this article but just the fact that Queerty ran a well thought out, non sensationalist, intelligent article….Holy Shit!

  • TomMc

    Beautiful writing, wonderful thinking… Great article! Thank you Ms James.

  • jayj150

    @AnitaMann: Not only are the battles of LGB people and transsexuals different, I’d venture to say they’re even opposed. LGB folks have been battling for centuries for their human, civil, and legal right to be different: we want to be able to love, marry, have sex with whom we choose even if that’s not the societal/religious standard. We DON’T WANT TO CHANGE, we want ACCEPTANCE and respect.

    Transsexuals, on the other hand, want the exact opposite of that: They want conformity. They want to CHANGE EVERYTHING ABOUT THEMSELVES so they can be called women(or men), and straight women at that, and they demand constant validation. It strikes me that the reason transsexuals and LGB folks clash so much is the exact same reason transsexuals and feminists do: we have entirely different priorities.The priority of feminism and LGB activism is dismantling a patriarchal system that oppresses women and sexual minorities, while most trans women mainly want to be seen as women and therefore fully embrace patriarchal norms imposed on women. While feminists fight against the harm of compulsory femininity, the same way LGB people fight stereotypical sexual and gender roles, transsexuals embrace them and view them as affirming and empowering, because what matters is people confirming their identity.

    Sex reassignment therapy(particularly in children) is another side on the same coin as the Religious Right’s attempt to change sexual orientation through ‘conversion camps’; except SRT is by far the more cruel, dangerous of the two. The goal of both movements is to force their perception of societal ‘normality’. They both want to force people to conform.

    We should be thankful for RuPaul and other courageous nonconforming LGB individuals that prove you don’t need to remove your genitals and fill your body with all kinds of chemicals to be a fullfilled, happy human being.

  • tricky ricky

    I am so sick and tired of transsexuals. they should never have been attached to the gay rights movement. I suggest they shove their complaints against drag queens. if it wasn’t for drag queens they wouldn’t be getting any rights themselves.

  • tricky ricky

    @jayj150: THANK YOU!

  • tricky ricky

    after reading all the comments I see I am not alone in my opinion. what a relief.

  • TampaBayTed

    @AnitaMann: Couldn’t agree with you more. I think “sexual minorities” covers a lot of territory.

  • Raquel Santiago

    OK so i held off commenting but just couldnt anymore. I see some comments wanting to separate the T and the others saying Transgender are not part of the community. While I respect those individual opinions the same applies to those individuals who are ARE A BIG PART of this community. Each one is open to individual interpretation a person can be transgender and still be gay, each person has the right to identify as they see fit without being labeled. I am openly transgender but also openly gay and disabled, i identify with nearly every part of the LGBT community except the L because i was not born female nor am I sexually attracted to other women but i have women friends. My friends network consists of people from every walk of life and all of them have differences of opinion. Walk a mile in someone elses shoes and see just how hard it is.

  • Curtispsf

    Wow…hard not to see the obvious bias of this article. As Bob Dylan wrote:
    “Fearing not to become my enemy…in the instant that I speak”. Queerty’s opinionated article ends up doing the very same thing it accuses others of doing: “hactivism journalism, throwing epithets and judgement posing as news”.

    And if that’s enough, the scarier thing is I felt myself nodding in agreement as I read the piece. Yes, we ALL need to be sensitive to the feelings of others and understand his/her journey, but do we need to also eat our young in the process? I am tired and bored by the PC Police.

    Oh yeah, FUCK Twitter and all those Quitterrazzy folk.

  • fishpaw13

    Lost all respect for RuPaul several years ago when he/she was hired to do a benefit for battered women in St Louis. Kept the crowd waiting, once he/she FINALLY came on stage, just stood there, did 2 numbers and all the $$$ tips collected went into his/her pocket. All of the other performers donated their tips. Plus her manger was a total C**T.

  • DuchessOfMilton

    @AnitaMann: If you really don’t understand why transgender is part of the LGBT movement, you’ve clearly never understood anything about LGBT history. It’s not too late.

  • Curtispsf

    @Franco C.: Well said. It’s sad that anonymity has given us the freedom to attack and hate behind a keyboard.

  • aaarrghdude

    People need to step back, take a deep breath, and chill out. The “trans community” is not a unified movement with one mind and manifesto, any more than the gay community is. And we in the gay community need to realize that transpeople are on the same side we are in the bigger picture (the fight for human and civilized treatment of all sexual and gender minorities).

    And we ALL need to let people be people, allow that we all make mistakes, and bring those mistakes to light when someone offends and hurts you, without ridiculous hatred, in-fighting and overreaction. Congratulations Ms. James on a thoughtful, well-reasoned and rational article.

  • Raquel Santiago

    @DuchessOfMilton: Thank you i had to edit it about 50 times to keep calm and try to be respectful of other opinions but the hate and discrimination that is within our community is just very very sad, to come as far as we have come and have such crap in our community/

  • Cam

    Weird, I pointed out that Trans Activists attacked the gay community on the day marriage became legal in NY state, and that I have never once seen those same activists support the community.

    I then pointed out that the gay community ditched an ENDA bill years ago because it didn’t include Trans protections but asked if activists like Parker Molloy would ever ditch a trans bill if it didn’t include protections for gays and assumed she would not.

    I then said that those activists that only trade in fury are bad for the tans movement.

    And queerty deleted the comment…………

  • Raquel Santiago

    @Cam: Cam, only thing on this is that those were individual trans activists, not all of us are that way. I hear you but some of us actually the majority of us support all causes within the LBTQQQYIA Community. Hugs

  • tophyv

    There’s so much in this article that I don’t care about that I finally had to stop reading. People who spend their time being professionally outraged are suffering from some sort of mental illness. I’m reminded of the Oscar-winning song, “Let it Go.”

  • RomanHans

    I totally agree with the writer. But RuPaul literally defined the queer community, united us behind a message of peace and love, and helped us step out of the closets and into society, so we should thank him for giving us the courage to stand up and tell the world, “Christ, that RuPaul is just such a freakin’ a$$hole.”

  • Cam

    @Raquel Santiago:

    Thank you for chiming in Raquel. I agree, most trans people I know are wonderful partners in the fight for rights and just all around wonderful people.

    My comment was definitely directed at the anger activists. Trust me we all get anger, but when there is NEVER anything good to say I think it hurts the fight for rights.

    I would march with Trans-folks to help them (you) get rights, but I get a feeling that the activist mentioned in the post “Malloy” would yell at me for showing up to the march.

    Thank you again for your post, when an article like this is up it is so much more useful to get the perspective from the actual people it effects!

  • Lvng1tor

    @tophyv: Well, what gay man isn’t reminded of the Oscar-winning song “Let it Go” at least once a day!Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway-FistBump!

  • Rebecca Juro

    This is a re-post of a comment I made at BoingBoing, where this piece originally appeared:

    First, let me preface with a few credentials: I’m a trans woman who has been hosting an Internet radio show for LGBT people with a focus on trans people and issues for about 12 years, and I’m also a longtime contributor to the Bilerico Project and HuffPo Gay Voices. In short, I’ve been trans media since before there was anything that could credibly be called trans media. Also, just for the record, I was also one of those who spoke out when Calpernia was being misgendered by straight media after Barry WInchell’s murder.

    To to be blunt, I think you and Calpernia are being completely unfair and frankly, unnecessarily mean to Parker. She’s young, she’s new, and she’s going to make a few honest mistakes, just as I did and I’m sure you did at that age. It doesn’t mean she’s got an anti-drag agenda. I’ve called out RuPaul too, and I’m still doing it. For that matter, so is more and more of the community as time goes on. What’s he’s doing is wrong, it’s deeply offensive to people who have been persecuted and treated like crap enough in our lives, thank you very much, and it needs to stop,

    I’ve gotten to know Parker a little, and while sure, she still has a lot to learn about our community and the people in it, it doesn’t mean she’s a separatist (seriously?) or out to defame anyone who hasn’t done the same to us first.

    I have great respect for you and your place in trans history, Andrea. If you have any respect for mine (and I know you may not know me or my work, but just Google), than I hope you’ll trust me when I say that the motives being ascribed to Parker here are not fair nor supported by the evidence.

    I would encourage both you and Calpernia to stop seeing this as an attack and instead as an opportunity to educate. Don’t assume ill intent as is being done here. Offer Parker the same benefit of the doubt you’d hope to receive yourself. I suspect that if you reached out on that basis, you’d find a more receptive audience overall.

    Thanks for listening.

    Becky Juro

  • Thedrdonna

    There’s a lot of good commentary here…and a lot of garbage, too. The one thing I’ll point out is that most trans folks who transition identify as LGB post-transition. The few studies I’ve seen show that something like 70% of post-transition trans women ID as lesbian or bi. There is, unfortunately, far less data available on trans men, but I think it would be shocking if the numbers were substantially different. So, if you see someone saying that trans people transition to avoid being thought if as gay? You know they’re lying, simplifying a complex situation, and probably doing so to further an anti-trans agenda.

  • Desert Boy

    Time to drop the “T” from LGBT. Let them fight their own battles. Next?

  • heartholder143

    GREAT- yet more from the “new”generation of LGBT persons with the heart on my sleeve syndrome. The though process seems to be – “I’m so gay i want to be as flamboyant as possible, and HIV and Aids is not something I have to worry about- lets just be as derogatory and hateful as possible towards thinks we don’t like-
    Few seem to acknowledge ALL the ones before us who went through SO MUCH more than they can imagine- just to be able to walk down the street

    This next generation is a group of cry babies who seem to have the sense of entitlement without having to do anything to deserve the rights and recognition they want- suck it up,quit being so sensitive about petty things and help make progress not division

  • heartholder143

    well written Ms. James- as RuPaul says “if you can’t fuckin love yourself how the hell you gonna love someone else?

  • erikwm

    Gender identity and sexual orientation are in the same wheelhouse. They both involve sexuality and gender. My guess is when the science behind each is finally unraveled, it will be discovered they are intimately linked.

    Conceptually, they are very similar. In one, you have an outward gender that does match the inward gender identity and in the other, you have an inward sexual orientation that does not match the outward gender.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if a similar physiological mechanism causes each. They are not fundamentally different phenomenons. Wishing to separate them is foolish.

  • SoThenWhatHappened

    @Rebecca Juro:
    Please, please, please. The Ts need to leave the movement of gay men and lesbians. You are a huge distraction and, frankly, a detriment to the interests of our movement. For the all the complaining ya’all do about us is ridiculous.

  • Thedrdonna

    I should also probably point out how silly it is that people are saying, “Yes! Ms. James is right! Let’s get rid of trans folks in our movement.” here on this anonymous message board, but would probably never go to an actual meeting in real life and express the same sentiments.

  • Ottoman

    ” I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice. But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

    – Coretta Scott King

  • Niall

    So since The Advocate is different from The, which one of them was the idiotic one that named Pope Francis LGBT person of the year?

  • Cam

    @Rebecca Juro:

    So what I get from your article is that Molloy should not be questioned or disagreed with because “Hey, she’s young”.

    As for your comments about RuPaul you don’t seem to be able to articulate how RuPaul’s commentary is an attack on the Trans community because it is a show about men dressing up as women. Not a show about women who have transitioned.

    But I think that we see the memo. Anything Molloy says, no matter how hateful shouldn’t be held against her. Anything RuPaul says where there is no hateful intent is an excuse for an attack.

    Ok, Got it.

  • tookietookie

    I love RuPaul an amazing entertainer.

  • redcarpet

    There has been a lot of post-modern theory and anarchist thinking injected into the LGBT movement over the last 20 years. The problem is that this theory is OK for understanding large social interactions in a controlled sociology class, but it doesn’t translate at all to real-life interactions between different races, genders, and sexuality. I would propose that it actively HINDERS communication between different cultures. Non of these Post-Modern/Queer Theory/Michele Foucault thoughts are a shock if you have spent any time on a liberal arts college campus.

    I think each of us will have to decide if we want to Martin Luther King Jr. method of brotherhood and togetherness to achieve social justice, or if we want to take the Po-Mo Anarchist road to irrelevance.

  • shelleybear

    @Franco C.:
    “Self-Loathing” has become the latest variant on “he or she is yelling so loud they must be…” label.
    It’s kind of hard to take it seriously anymore.
    Please do try for something better.

  • Jet

    @Niall: the web site

  • Brian

    Context matters. Twitter’s character limitation rarely allows context.

    When I attended college, lots of card-based drinking games used rules like “6 is for chicks” (drawing a 6 means women drink) or “6 is for dicks” (drawing a 6 means men drink). The rule depended on whose house you were in or who happened to be yelling the loudest.

    My roommates and I — ourselves a mixture of genders and orientations — created a new house rule that “6 is for chicks with dicks.” For us, that rule came to mean, “whoever feels that their orientation is blended or fluid, should drink… or, whoever wants to, can” We didn’t want there to be binary genders. And twisting the rhyme into an unexpected three-word rhyme was silly and light-hearted. Anything goes, anyone can. That was the context for our usage.

    If someone had called our usage offensive, we probably would have told them to leave. We were an inclusive and open-minded household, and we were more politically active than a few random tweets here and there. (One is now a prominent and successful researcher in gender/orientation studies.) I say tweeters need to learn to use their minds before getting so angry. BTW, I still love the “chicks with dicks” term, and I sometimes use it to describe myself, even though I’m a cis-gendered gay male.

  • Skywalker001

    Rupaul rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Rebecca Juro

    @Cam: No, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying she should be educated. Hell, I’ve been doing this for well over a decade and I still get regularly attacked. When you choose to do this kind of work, it’s just part of the deal.

    I’m also saying that people like Calpernia Addams and Andrea James shouldn’t make silly accusations of being a separatist or having an anti-drag agenda when there’s no absolutely evidence backing it up.

    And finally, I’m saying that before people assume ill intent, maybe they should first assume ignorance and make an attempt to educate.

    Honestly, I don’t think I’m being unreasonable here.

  • TheMarc

    I haven’t commented on this site in quite a while. And mostly because of the sentiment addressed in this article. I find it very ironic that Queerty of all outlets re-posted this story. They are hands down the biggest outrage-aholic enabling gay news site. Reading material on Queerty is akin to reading material from The Daily Caller. Are there things worth mobilizing for and getting upset about? Absolutely. But this site typically takes it to a whole new level. From attacking comedians for NOT including offensive gay jokes in their acts and equating that with including offensive gay jokes in their acts to leading a backlash against straight LGBT musicians, this site has proven multiple times that they have no concern for journalistic integrity, but for enabling those who are more concerned with having an opportunity to be enraged as opposed to having a reason to be.

  • TheMarc

    sorry that should have said straight musician allies of the LGBT community.

  • etseq

    @redcarpet: Amen. I was in college and law school during the mid-90s and witnessed the damage “Queer Theory” did to lesbigay studies. Not only did it derail a promising area of study in the humanities and cede the field to the harder sciences (which I fully support btw) but it severed the connection between academia and activism. In fact, “queer theory” in retrospect looks more like an adolescent rebellion of over privileged children that relentlessly mocked and attacked the “adults” in the real world. I distinctly remember the time Michael Warner was interviewed on 60 minutes denouncing gay marriage as “bourgeois” and extolling backroom public sex as the key to liberation.
    Suddenly, the concept of sexual orientation and stable identities were under attack as “essentialist” and “normative” as conservative and regressive while “fluidity” and “performative agency” were the hip new things.

  • rcblue73

    Familiar with this in that I’ve been getting flamed the past several years now, on the ‘net and even at pride, not for attacking anyone but just for being gay and publishing some gay positive things on the web.

    The individuals who had issues with me always identified with one of the non-homosexual elements of the alphabet soup grouping. The issue was that they simply think homosexuality, particularly male homosexuality is wrong and that gay men are the exclusive source of all the world’s ills. My crime is that I identify as a gay male and, for various reasons, am guilty of spreading homosexual propaganda.

    I also got some curious messages from “gender/sexual orientation non-specific” individuals criticizing me for putting myself in the “box of homosexuality” and yet curiously they’d also tried to sell me on getting involved with evangelical religions. I’ve also personally known some sexually ambiguous women who are very tight with evangelicals, in particular one woman whose views on abortion and homosexuality became lockstep with her very close fundamentalist Christian lady friend. The woman also had a fondness for the word fag cuz her Christian lady friend used it and tried to get me to attend an ex-gay seminar that her friend wanted me to go to. Great fun.

    It was all very confusing to me for quite some time until I stumbled across some on line forums and personal journals and did some reading. Discovered that however some individuals may identify themselves, in reality they are quite the heterosexuals and seem to be quite the conservatives as well with a few individuals being stridently anti-gay with a frequent message that homosexuality is fluid and can be cured.

    It’s like web posters some years ago who would identify themselves as liberal and attack others for being “lefty progressives”, now identify as neoconservative.

    These experiences have just let me with the opinion that the non-homo alphabet letters are heterosexually based and I suspect have a lot of social conservative connections as well.

    It’s also not impossible that some people are plants and moles who are being paid to destabilize things. It’s what the government did to the anti-war and civil rights movements in the 1960s, plant people to act crazy, destroy reputations and attack others within the movement in order to destabilize it. It could be that neocons are running the alphabet soup show. As Judy Tenuta would say, “It could happen”.

  • Dwayne420

    Calling bullshit all over this one. Everyone knows nothing negative was meant and it just seems like some people are ALWAYS looking for a negative bandwagon to jump on. Put on your big-girl panties, grow up, and most of all…be tolerant while demanding it from others!

  • BrianZ

    @Rebecca Juro: You know, I would give your comments a lot more weight and consideration if we were speaking of some random young person making their way in a new world. Molloy is writing for and on one of the oldest LGBT publications: Just how much excuse for ignorance should we be allowing here? Her language is obscene, her expression is crass and she attacks the very community on whose back she’s now attempting to make a living.

    I imagine many people under the LGBT wide tent would consider it a huge step forward to be judged on who we are, the words we use and the deeds we commit versus being generalized by a label. Andrea seems to have extended that courtesy, and can hardly be faulted for what Molloy chose to put on display.

    Oh, and kudos to you for finding your calling and making it work.

  • Cam

    @Rebecca Juro:

    So Calpernia Addams and Andrea James shouldn’t be given the same leeway you want to give Molloy?

    Why not?

  • AlexM

    Seems like trans people are more concerned about freaking words than they are about actual laws to protect them. Imagine what they can accomplish if they put this much time and energy into that.

  • chrisw589

    We are all queer. The same people that hate T hate L, G, and B. United we stand. :o)

  • Cocoshaquifa

    Wow how sad … CHILL OUT “..without rupaul there would be less of a voice for anyone gay bi or transsexual …..why bite the hand that feeds you? How sad that this has become an issue …GET WITH THE REAL ISSUE… People who don’t accept you…… your hate for them …and shouldn’t you be more accepting as you also want to be accepted….grow up

  • jayj150

    @chrisw589: No, we’re not. I’m a bisexual man. Queer does not mean anything. And transsexuals have more in common with ‘conversion therapists’ than they do LGB folks.

  • hotshot70

    Suggestion to all: LIGHTEN UP!

  • Thedrdonna

    @jayj150: You mean the 2/3 of transitioned trans folks who identify as LGB?

  • Thedrdonna

    Also am I the only one noticing a bunch of people complaining about the use of the word “queer” on a site called Queerty? Maybe if you have a strong visceral reaction to that word, some other site might better suit your needs?

  • Bee Gaga

    @jayj150: YOu know, I was reading to read your for filth because of the first few sentences, but you actually did make a lot of sense. As a gender non-conforming gay man myself, I agree with you. However, you stereotype trans women here are a lot of trans women who do not seek validation in the way that you assume (hyperfemininty) and there is a lot of ambiguity there. Plus, the T stands for transgender not transsexual; transgender is the umbrella term for all gender non-conforming people like crossdressers, drag queens, gender benders, gender queers, gender non-conformist and transsexuals. We are all Gender-Sexual Minorities and fighting for, more or less, the same goal.

  • OzJosh

    First up, for any article on Queerty to be attacking standards of journalism elsewhere is beyond hilarious.

    But what I wonder is just when the LGBT community is going to deal with the fact that most (tiny, tiny caveat: not all) drag artists fundamentally present themselves as a parody of women and femininity. Oh yes, they LOVE women, it’s meant in tribute, it’s done with affection, etc. But there’s no getting away from the underlying pathology that renders drag more than just a bit icky for anyone not simply dazzled by bright colours and moving images. I totally get where the transgendered critics are coming from, and this article neatly side-steps the issues by focussing on the bile and vitriol. But then part of the problem is that it’s generally difficult, if not impossible, to have this kind of discussion with proponents of drag, who see what they do as some kind of human right, no matter how offensive or twisted. Maybe Ms James might like to delve a little deeper in her next article.

  • HirsuteOne

    Bottom line, if trans people are upset by our use of certain words, then we should listen to what they have to say and change our behavior. It doesn’t matter what community they are in now or what may happen in the future. Trans people are people all the same and they don’t deserve to be marginalized, especially by the G, L, B or other T’s among us.

  • chrisw589

    @a href=”#comment-818184″>jayj150: my point is we aren’t the norm. Hetero Christian white male. Ie, Queer. Strange. Different.. only in reference to the current norms of society. So we are facing the same opponent. Forget the L’s, t’s, whatever. I’m just saying.

  • Rebecca Juro

    @BrianZ: Finding my calling? Sure. This my passion. Making it work? Well now that’s a bit more complicated. No one ever gets rich as a freelance journalist. And my show? I’ve never made a dime on it. I do it because I can, because I love doing it, and because it’s needed. I’d love to get an on-air job, and frankly I think I’d be pretty good…12 years of shows on the net makes for a lot of practice.

    You seem to think that because Parker’s being published by the Advocate that there’s a higher standard. I don’t know that I agree. I think a key responsibility of an LGBT community publication like the Advocate is to present perspectives that reflect the full diversity of our community. Parker’s perspective as a young trans woman is no more or less valuable, in and of itself, than that of a trans person of an older generation like myself, or a Latino gay man, or an African-American lesbian, or, or, or…

    I still say, and will continue to, that approaching this from an educational, rather than confrontational, perspective is the way to go here.

  • Cam


    It’s funny, the defense of Molloy was that trans people are NOT anti-drag. And you completely negated that with your comment.

  • DuchessOfMilton

    @OzJosh: You know, Oz Josh, it’s so funny that you would call drag “icky,” and hint that performing drag is not a “right.” It’s a point of view you share with fundamentalist Christians, right-wing zealots, and world-class gender-and-sexual minority oppressors the world over.

  • DuchessOfMilton

    @Rebecca Juro: Shall we try to remember that this started when PMM misgendered another transwoman and called her a “drag queen?” Generally when cis public figures misguider a transwoman the outrage is all you ever read about on Twitter and elsewhere for six month. But this time, it’s supposed to not count because PMM is trans? Fascinating double standard of offence.

  • DuchessOfMilton

    @Rebecca Juro: In the article, she compared Calpernia Addams to the terminally-ill trans prostitute portrayed by Leto, the one she said is a negative, stereotypical portrayal of transwomen.

    The line was, “There’s nothing wrong with individuals like Addams, just as there isn’t anything wrong with “the Rayons of the world.” What is wrong is that transgender individuals — specifically transgender women — are almost always portrayed as this particular type of trans woman.”

    Seriously, “individuals like Addams?” Not “women like Addams?” And to take it a step further, what sort of “individual” is Addams that trans women are “almost always portrayed” this way? Happy? Successful? Fully-transitioned and living their truth? Writing? Making films and recordings? Which part of Addams life, exactly, is “wrong” enough to warrant a complaint about “this particular type of trans woman?”

  • Rebecca Juro

    @DuchessOfMilton: And are we so sure, so very certain, that rather than an intended attack, perhaps Parker just made a mistake, maybe even a few mistakes?

    I don’t think we are. And so, I’m going to ask her those questions directly when she guests on my show week.

  • Rebecca Juro

    @Rebecca Juro: …guests on my show this week.

    grr…wish I could edit posted comments…

  • DuchessOfMilton

    @Rebecca Juro: So help me out….when a transwoman misguiders another transwoman as “a drag queen” it’s OK. But when a mainstream cis public figure does it, it’s transphobic?

  • DuchessOfMilton

    *misgenders (I wish I could edit posted comments as well.)

  • ErganeFlood

    @heartholder143: Help me, because I cannot decipher your comment or where it comes from.

  • DuchessOfMilton

    @SoThenWhatHappened: You don’t speak for the LGBs, SoThenWhat. You don’t tell your trans sisters and brothers what movements they can be part of. If a group of angry, gutsy gender-variant “T’s” hand’t started chucking beer bottle at the police on a hot night in the late 60s, while sweater queens like you sat back and shivered, you wouldn’t have a Queerty to post on. You might disagree with Ms. Juro, but you will show her some respect.

  • DuchessOfMilton

    @Ottoman: Amen.

  • Rebecca Juro

    @DuchessOfMilton: The key here is intent. I’ve accidentally or ignorantly misgendered people many times on my show, but I always try to correct myself as soon as I’m aware of it. It doesn’t mean I have an agenda, it means I fucked up. There’s a difference.

  • DuchessOfMilton

    An apology is “I’m so sorry I did it,” not “I’m sorry you took offence at what I did,” followed by an explanation of why it was done.

  • DuchessOfMilton

    And in fairness, when cis public figures misgender—for example, Piers Morgan referring to Janet Mock as having been a boy—they are torn to pieces. There is no space for them possibly having “fucked up.” A transwoman knows what it feels like to be referred to as a “drag queen,” or an ersatz woman. We don’t do it unless we intend to do it, because w know how it will be received. Molloy is an excellent writer whose work has appeared on Rolling Stone’s site, not some neophyte who makes that sort of “mistake.” Whatever the intent was, it ended very painfully for everyone involved.

    In any case, good luck with your show. Perhaps it will abet some healing in this situation all the way around.

  • christineisalesbian

    I think it would all do us well to be a bit more nice and inclusive

  • inbama

    Most of this hate would go away if the T community would not insist the rest of us need to be “educated” (aka brainwashed) into speaking “transgenderese.”

    Back in the days when a person suffered gender dysphoria, they transitioned from one sex to another, and then through sex reassignment surgery became men or women, there was none of this hate, and nobody needed to be “educated,” because it all made sense.

    Today, you’re supposed to look at a transsexual’s before and after photos going from a hairy muscular hugely hung marine to your spinster high school librarian, and you’re required to say each is a photo of a “real woman.” And when you talk about that marine, remember to say “she” or you’ll be committing “pronoun abuse.”

    Of course the Ts have to control everybody’s language. What’s being insisted on is totally detached from reality, and so we are all speaking gibberish so not to be called transphobic.

  • Gryphun609

    With all due respect I still don’t understand how transgenders get lumped in with us actual gays. I would think that most trans people are actually straight mentally and change gender to reflect that. Am I just naive?

  • Gryphun609

    Doesn’t Ru claim to be straight? I personally try not to support any entity that is fake looking for my money or attention. Just sayin’!

  • Ms Urethra Johnson

    WE old fags paved the way!!! Ungreatful little snots of twitter (twitts)age… If it wasn’t for US old QUEERS, you’d still be shoved in the lockers, or beaten to a pulp on your local sidewalk just for being “queer”, delusional much? And yeah, we’re all lumped up together by the “normal” people because we are all queers. Get it? Per molloy’s logic: “I don’t munch carpets (not anymore anyway) therefore I want my own national anthem…” She’s obviously effed-up in the head if she “hates” RuPaul or Carmen Carrerra. Jealous and immature: obviously he/she/IT hasn’t suffered real discrimination or loss of hundreds of friends and acquaintances to AIDS… Again UNGREATFUL snot. Ashtag #AshtagActivistMyAss… “IT” needs to be FISTED…no…double-fisted…no lube, no poppers. Thanks for ruining a perfect morning. “If you can’t love yourself…how the HELL are you gonna love somebody else… can I get an Amen!!!” Being able to laugh at one’s self is the cornerstone of acceptance. Now crawl back in your bubble and BLOW.

  • BrianZ

    @Rebecca Juro: I appreciate your approach, and wish that the teaching/education moments were more widely applied to problematic situations. I also appreciate your willingness to be a voice and to put yourself out there over the years when so many others find it easier to do significantly less, or nothing at all.

    That respect does not mean I agree in this instance, however. I’ve spent some time looking a bit further and Molloy is not a voice I believe deserves a seat at the table, and not one I appreciate in content or method. The world is full of mean-spirited Internet commenters who have nothing to offer other than something to point at when looking for an example of what _not_ to be, and what _not_ to do. I can see where it makes for sensational headlines and fits well with the concept of hurling Twitter-sized bites of bile, but it serves to construct nothing, fueling divisive characters who have nothing but their own self-interest at heart. I think it’s fair to characterize Molloy as part of this group.

    I do wish you well, Rebecca, and I hope that your tempered and even approach is something you can share with others, perhaps younger, less articulate and polished individuals who are so clearly yearning for attention.

  • Rebecca Juro

    @BrianZ: Thank you for your thoughts and your tone as well. Reading back though many of the recent comments here it’s refreshing.

    It’s funny though. I doubt anyone who’s heard my show or read my work would ever describe me as “tempered” or “even”. When I turn on my microphone, my flamethower is equipped and ready to go.

    But this isn’t my show. This is about a fellow trans media person being unfairly attacked (something I know more than a little about) by people who should know better.

    And I’ll just put this out there for whatever its worth: I get the bitterness of being someone who busted their ass for this community for decades only to see all the attention now going to kids half your age. I get it, and in some ways I share it.

    But Parker’s not responsible for that, though, and I don’t its fair to direct attacks toward her. She’s the symptom, not the disease.

  • Cam

    @Rebecca Juro:

    But again, what you are posting is that anything Molloy does is ok and excusable because gee, she really didn’t mean it, but everything anybody else says is wrong. If you at least admitted your bias towards Molloy I would appreciate the rest of your commentary more.

  • Rebecca Juro

    @Cam: I have no bias for or against Parker personally as a journalist (though I do now consider her a friend), but I have a very strong bias against trans media people being unfairly attacked, which is what I believe is happening here.

    You may not agree with my position, and that’s fine. At the same time, let me be clear about my own motivations here: I’ve been fighting battles like this, being a target for people with self-centered elitist attitudes like Andrea and Calpernia, pretty much since I started doing this work.

    When I see stuff like this happen to someone like Parker, I can’t help but speak out, just like I wish there’d been someone who would have stepped up to defend me when I’ve gotten the same treatment over the years.

    No one ever has, and as disappointing as that is, I’m not going to look away when it’s happening to someone else. I just can’t.

  • Jake357

    The elephant in the room really has very little with the topic at hand. It’s the HUGE gulf between these disparate letters in a desperate alphabet barely clinging to one another in a bloody red sea of tomato soup. I’m not surprised by all the Cut T Loose crowd. There a movement that makes a lot of decisions for everyone without polling everyone. Let’s face it: a LOT of gay men have nothing in common with trans activists and vice versa. The same probably applies to lesbians and bisexuals as well as that girl with a lot of piercings and pink hair that calls herself some generic term like queer when she’s little more than a sophomore taking a lot of poli-sci classes and trying desperately not to be her mother. And you can naysay and denounce this all you want, but that’s still just ignoring the elephant. For some reason we’ve been lumped in together and no one is really sure why we should care anymore. Just because I have cousins, doesn’t mean I have to like them. In fact, I don’t like my cousins, so… And of course you can drag Stonewall out like the dusty family bible anytime there’s need of a parable, but don’t we think there would have been something OTHER than Stonewall. I mean, it was coming one way or another. And it’s not like it was the be all and end all, since clearly we are still fighting for basic rights decades later. Maybe instead of trashing each other, we really should take a hard look at why we’re all at the same dinner table and just who decided to throw this little party in the first place and why they didn’t bother to ask anyone if they wanted alphabet soup.

  • jar

    @Cam: Just wanted to offer my agreement with your points.
    @Rebecca Juro: You have staked a logically inconsistent position, one that is based solely upon, but I like this person and dislike these people. It’s your prerogative to defend your friend, but your unwillingness to acknowledge as much is disappointing. It undercuts any point you have tried to make and makes me disinclined to check out your other work.

  • tdx3fan

    I killed enough brain cells in the first part of this post that I could really not make it to the end of this very long diatribe.

    Drag and Trans are two COMPLETELY different things. Trans normally get up in arms about anything that they perceive as making fun of them and when you have a victim complex that is pretty much EVERYTHING.

    Gay men are a lot more accepting of Trans than Trans normally are of gay men that say even remotely the wrong thing one time.

    Ru is NOT Trans, she is a gay man and a drag queen. Completely different! If the Trans community really wants to gain more acceptance and be treated with more equality (which they absolutely deserve) then perhaps they should start by learning to pick their battles and defining themselves for what they are for not what they are against.

  • tdx3fan

    @AnitaMann: I could not disagree more. The reason they are part of the same movement is because rational thinking trans and LGB people have worked together to further this movement since it began. There were plenty of people at Stonewall and earlier that were Trans that helped to create the LGBT rights movement as we know it. Hell, the laws that really caused the Stonewall raid were aimed at Trans much more than they were aimed at gays.

  • tdx3fan

    @BJ McFrisky: Bisexuals absolutely represent an identity that is unique. You are being your usual ignorant self to claim otherwise.

    There are plenty of bisexual men and women that actually do have sexual feelings for both genders.

  • tdx3fan

    @Cam: If you really think that HRC represents all gays and therefore should be the source of all opinions by all gays everywhere then you can make the same argument for Trans. Until then, your argument is flawed!

  • Cam

    @Rebecca Juro:

    You admit that Molloy is a friend, you offer no defense for your defense of her while attacking others for doing the same thing only more mildly. And offer no specifics.

    Your argument is basically, “I like this person so she should not be held to her words” but anybody ELSE is wrong.

  • Rebecca Juro

    @Cam: Ok I’m going to try just one more time: At no time did I say Parker was right (or wrong, for that matter) to say what she said in the way she said it. I probably would have approached the issue differently, but that’s just me.

    My issue here is, and always has been, that Parker is being accused of all kinds of things, such as being a separatist and having an anti-drag agenda. There’s absolutely no evidence I’m aware of to support either of those charges, nor a lot of the other stuff that these women have said about her.

    Did Parker express herself in an inappropriate, perhaps even offensive way, in some people’s views? Obviously. Does that validate charges such as those made above? No, it doesn’t, and I have yet to see anyone either here or at BoingBoing demonstrate out how it does.

    You want to disagree with Parker, or me, or anyone, on what we’ve said publicly? That’s fair game. We put these ideas and opinions out there for public consumption and scrutiny and we expect to be challenged. No one who’s been using the Internet for more than ten minutes and does what we do would think otherwise.

    When unsupported accusations like the ones above are being thrown around though, that’s unfair and, in my opinion, it’s just wrong. If this had been approached from the beginning as an educational opportunity instead of as an attack, it could have been the start of a very worthwhile and much-needed community discussion on these issues. Now that it seems to have turned into just a public pillorying of Parker, I’m not sure that’s even possible anymore, and that’s really disappointing.

  • DuchessOfMilton

    @Gryphun609: Yes, you’re naïve. Many, many trans people become lesbians or gay men after they transition. Furthermore, the people who hate trans people hate gay men and lesbians for the same reason.

  • DuchessOfMilton

    @Rebecca Juro: Your argument made sense until you added “in some people’s views” to “inappropriate, perhaps even offensive way.” The only “people” who don’t consider calling transwomen “drag queens” are transphobic cis people.

  • Throbert McGee


    most (tiny, tiny caveat: not all) drag artists fundamentally present themselves as a parody of women and femininity. Oh yes, they LOVE women, it’s meant in tribute, it’s done with affection, etc. But there’s no getting away from the underlying pathology that renders drag more than just a bit icky for anyone not simply dazzled by bright colours and moving images.

    I think drag is more “boring” and “yesterday” and “pseudo-subversive” than it is “icky,” but I would certainly agree with OzJosh that drag is usually a parody of women and femininity. And sometimes the parody becomes so misogynist that it becomes reminiscent of 19th-century minstrel shows with white performers in blackface portraying “coons” who were comically stupid and lazy.

    True, historically there were some blackface minstrel troupes that portrayed African-Americans with sympathy and sentimentality but avoided the most demeaning comical stereotypes. And there were minstrel troupes with real black people performing “Carry Me Back to Ol’ Virginny” and “Ole Zip Coon” — the same chart-toppers (not that hit songs were actually charted back then!) popularized by the blackface shows, and African-American audiences liked the songs as much as white viewers.

    However, it was the “dumb lazy coon” stereotype that became most associated with minstrel shows because a lot of white audiences found this stereotype hilarious.

    Anyway, to me, it’s this minstrel-show quality with undercurrents of offensive misogyny that distinguish typical “drag queens” from the “sketch-comedy drag” of Monty Python and Kids in the Hall, or the male “gender-illusionists” who do carefully crafted and respectfully restrained impressions of Greta Garbo.

  • Throbert McGee

    @Bee Gaga:

    Plus, the T stands for transgender not transsexual; transgender is the umbrella term for all gender non-conforming people like crossdressers, drag queens, gender benders, gender queers, gender non-conformist and transsexuals.

    Hmmm… maybe the real problem is precisely that the “T” in “LGBT” is such a confusing umbrella term.

    Possibly one solution would be to insist on redefining the “T” to mean specifically transsexuals who hope to undergo a medically-assisted transition via hormones and/or surgery (or have already transitioned); while perhaps we could use the letter “X” (i.e., meaning “cross”) as the umbrella term for those who blur traditional gender lines in various ways, but don’t see themselves as “truly transsexual.”

    So, men who have sex with men and also enjoy performing in drag could identify as “G&X, but not T”, while others might prefer to identify as “formerly G&X, now a T, and no longer G&X”, etc.

    Once people got used to the new convention, it could simplify things for all the cis-hetero folks who would like to be polite, as well as for the queer community.

  • DuchessOfMilton

    @Throbert McGee: Why do they need so many explanations in order to be polite? Can’t they and the rest of the queer community just, you know, be polite?

  • Curtispsf

    @Ottoman: Well said. And I effin love draq queens. Without them, the spark of 1969 would never have started the fire in the LGBTQ movement. But honestly, TWITTER? C’mon that’s fine if all you aim for in life is to “be trending”.

  • inbama

    @Throbert McGee:

    You are making a mistake thinking that trans activists have any interest in making sense or telling truth.

    Their goal is to intimidate every gay man here into ignoring his own life experiences, disowning authentic gay culture, and rejecting his own hard-won education and instead be “educated” by them in “transspeak.”

    The list of what gay men are permitted to say or think grows smaller every day, and they aren’t through with us yet.

  • NCSilverBear

    Gee whiz — not this old screech again. Stick around long enough and the universe just repeats itself. Back in the day, there were such cat fights about gay men joining with lesbian women. No way! The two are separate. And many wanted to keep it so. Then the “B” wanted accreditation. Another bitch-slap ensued. And the then the “T”. Just when it seemed the closet door was torn off its hinges, never more to be closed, “Q” rose up from the trunk buried deep in that closet and demanded a voice at the table.

    It may seem the dust has settled — but no! Being the drama queens we are born to be, we must find something or someone to sling mud at.

    So, when things outside our multifaceted community begin to find some stability, sanity and perhaps even a modicum of recognition that we are all of the same human race, we turn our unresolved personal anger inward, toward each other. Screaming “FOUL” at anyone who happens to be a large, easy target. And RuPaul is admittedly a one *large* target.

    Have we learned nothing?

    My take: gay is not lesbian is not bi-sexual is not transgendered is not queer. We are NOT all the same. We are as different as the collars in the rainbow flag under which we march.

    How dare anyone try to make me the same as you or you the same as me.

    Sticks and stones may break my bones — but, yes, mother, name calling *CAN* kill.

  • tonyherehere

    In my brothers words, all this fuss and to your typical straight person, all gay men, drag queens, trans, even post op are all considered gay guys, to the ignorant they would be all lumped up into “Fags”

  • DuchessOfMilton

    @tonyherehere: Exactly. Which is why all the bickering is ridiculous. The entire LGBT spectrum has the exact same enemy.

  • Throbert McGee

    *Sigh* — apparently certain words get caught in the spam-filter even if they appeared uncensored in the original post and even if they’re placed in quotes and clearly acknowledged as offensive. So let me try again:

    Anyway, in response to DuchessOfMilton, being polite is easy enough, or at least it ought to be. Things get complicated — at least for me, as a homosexual man — when the discussion turns to whether cis-queers ought to be “supportive” of transpeople who seek the very drastic step of surgery, for example.

    How can I be sure that a guy who self-identifies as a “trans-woman” and wants to take hormones and have the surgery to look more feminine isn’t REALLY just an unhappy gay man who has internalized the notion that men shouldn’t have sex with men, and hopes to escape homophobia by medically converting himself into a “straight girl”?

    So, I’d rather come across as impolite than encourage someone who has mis-identified himself or herself as “trans” to go on persisting in this error, and to go chasing after irreversible and expensive medical “corrections.”

    That said, I certainly agree that [the words rhyming with “granny” and “e-mail”] sound like deliberate and obvious rudeness.

    But it’s not inherently rude that 99% of the population doesn’t understand the dizzying complexity of trans identity and doesn’t know which terms are in vogue.

    I’d advise just trying to educate people on the dumbed-down basics — that there are MtFs and FtMs; there are “gynephiles” and “androphiles”; some seek surgery, some find hormones to be enough, some have no interest in a medical transition but still consider themselves to be “under the T umbrella”, etc. This is all quite a lot for most people to digest.

    However, SCOLDING people for using non-vulgar terms just because they aren’t your personally preferred terms doesn’t seem productive. (Personally, I get weary of folks who say: “Oh my goodness, shame on you for using the clinical and old-fashioned term homosexual; you should say gay instead.”)

  • IcarusD

    @jayj150: Not every MTF considers herself to be a straight woman. In fact, the vast majority of MTF women I know are in relationships with other women.

    Which is not to say that I agree with the anti-drag rant that some trans* embark on, any more than I thought that drag was misogynistic the way some extreme feminists feel (or at least used to feel in the ’80s when I was coming out).

    But in the broader scope of things, I think the B and the T still belong, since to the outside work we’re all considered gender nonconformists.

  • Throbert McGee

    I also wanted to add that a lot of my elementary-level schoolin’ on matters related to “T” folks came from a regular thread-commenter on Warren Throckmorton’s website — she personally claimed to be an “Intersex” cis-woman with a very rare genetic condition that made her body over-respond to androgens, or something like that. But apparently others insist that she’s actually a garden-variety “MtF autogynephilic trans-woman.” I have no idea what the truth is, but reading her comments and links did help me to better understand some of the complexity of trans issues.

    And Warren Throckmorton is an Evangelical Christian psychologist who formerly supported “ex-gay” therapies but has long since rejected this position as totally unscientific and is a vigorous opponent of NARTH and their ilk. He also accepts that most (if not necessarily all) gay-identified people have a neurologically “hard-wired” instinct for homosexual feelings, and that fetal hormones probably play a role. On the other hand, he does endorse the “gay by birth, celibate by choice” approach as one option for homo/bi people who feel personally conflicted by their faith and their sexuality.

    So, in short, I heartily recommend Throckmorton’s site as a fairly objective resource for information about the science of sexual orientation and gender identity, since he “evangelizes” neither for Christianity nor for the LGBT Community. (But you have to go searching through his archives to find content related to LGBTs or “ex-gays” and so forth, as he more often directs his criticism towards Evangelical idiots like David Barton, who wants to paint Thomas Jefferson as “basically Christian,” and other issues with no LGBT relevance.)

  • DuchessOfMilton

    @Throbert McGee: Whether a person has “mis-identified” themselves or not is none of your concern. You’re not the world’s night nurse. Being polite is the route to go, and that means taking someone at face value when they discuss their own gender identity. I’m sure you’d appreciate the same respect in return. Also, any MTF person who gets to the point of embarking on SRS has spent an enormous amount of time with therapists whose primary job is to make sure that doesn’t happen, and endocrinologists. And the legendary “MtF autogynephilic trans-woman” is a staple and boogeyman of the anti-trans faction of the psychiatric establishment. It makes me cringe to even read it in 2014, let alone on Queerty.

  • Throbert McGee

    @DuchessOfMilton: Have you heard of Donna Perry, who used to be called Douglas and murdered at least three women before he went to Thailand for SRS that probably didn’t involve an enormous amount of time in pre-surgical psychotherapy?

    I would submit that being politely skeptical about someone’s gender identity, rather than immediately taking it at face value, helps to prevent malingerers and frauds and criminals like Perry from besmirching the good name of the trans community.

    It makes me cringe to even read it in 2014, let alone on Queerty.

    Cringing so easily over trifles is not something to boast publicly about, O Princess Of the Pea. Everyone, of whatever gender identity, should strive to inculcate in themselves a bit of rugged stoicism.

  • WilloSF

    I love this. Thank you.

  • DuchessOfMilton

    @Throbert McGee: Oh, sunshine, you have nothing to teach any trans person about “inculcat[ing] in themselves a bit of rugged stoicism.” A trans person’s daily life is full of more “rugged stocicism” than you can even imagine.

    The reason you’re able to sit on your soft, plump, lily-white gay ass and pontificate and bloviate on Querty to transwomen about how to live, how to think, and how to be, and to indulge in ridiculous nonsense about “autogynephilic trans-women,” is that all those battles were fought FOR you, a long time ago, by people a lot braver than you are, including many transwomen.

    And with regard to Donna Perry, that story has nothing whatsoever to do with this one, though it’s fascinating to watch you try to stretch. The one thing you were right about, however, is that your knowledge is indeed at an “elementary-level schoolin'” level. When you learn a bit more, do come back and participate knowledgeably in the discussion of these issues.

  • inbama

    @Throbert McGee:

    It’s a shame this has to be so ugly.

    I haven’t found any actual research online later than the 2008 Spanish gay and the 2011 Swedish transgender brain scan studies – which won’t make either group happy. (And probably not bisexuals either)

    Together, both show gays and m2fs have “feminized” brains while lesbians and m2fs have “masculinized” brains.

    Unfortunately for this discussion, each study focused on different parts of the brain and there are, to my knowledge, no studies comparing trans brains to gays.

    I think it’s not jumping to conclusions that this would explain why many gays (self included) had childhood gender issues, and it rightly scares the hell out of us that gay four year olds with symptoms of GID will now be treated as transgendered by trans-activist therapists. Psychologists who claim that there are far more of us with these symptoms and will simply outgrow them are being shouted down as bigots by trans activists who want to see these children shot up with hormones to delay puberty so they can “choose their gender” before the manifestation of secondary sex characteristics.

    This will, hopefully, be settled once there are brain scan studies starting from childhood to adulthood that could actually establish sexual identity. Right now, though, the difference in white matter which shows that trans brains to varying degrees resembled their opposite sex can develop as late as ages 20 to 30.

    In the meantime, gays and lesbians must speak up for gay children with gender issues. It seems we get rid of one therapeutic quackery and another crops up.

  • balcony

    Christine Jorgensen was hardly “virulently homophobic” as you describe. I would be interested in knowing about any reference material that led you to make this statement, as I am aware of none. Rather, she simply, factually, and very carefully explained to questioners that she herself was not homosexual, as so many of these confused questioners assumed. In doing so, her role as educator cannot be overstated. Her public speaking on the subject of sexuality (of all types) and identity was way ahead of its time–in fact even our own time. Her expressed opinions were relaxed and serenely accepting. Homophobic? No.

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