“You can identify as a woman and say you’re transitioning, but it changes once you start changing your body,” he said. “It takes on a different thing; it changes the whole concept of what we’re doing.”
This abrasive statement was made by none other than reality TV show host/star of Rupaul’s Drag Race, RuPaul Charles himself, in a recent interview with Decca Aitkenhead (The Guardian).
In such a turbulent social climate surrounding the rights of queer and trans folk, RuPaul’s comment has been a hard pill to swallow for fans worldwide.
A plethora of ex-contestants from the Emmy-award winning show are snapping back at RuPaul through their social media channels, one of the most vocal being Willam Belli, an ex-contestant infamously disqualified from the competition for seeing his husband during the filming of the show (something that is strictly forbidden, like, Chamber Of Secrets forbidden):
For anybody with a sound understanding of drag, you’ll know that the art form is much more than just a man dressed as a woman, or vice versa, it’s a satirical and exaggerated statement about gender conformity (traditionally). The lines of drag, just as the lines with gender itself, are forever changing and transforming as our cultural zeitgeists evolve.
After taking the crown (literally) for season five of Drag Race, ex-contestant Jinkx Monsoon soon announced that they were non-binary, stating in an interview that; “At 15 years old, when I saw my first drag show, it did seem like a safe way, within my community, to finally get to express this part of myself that I knew was always there”.
But as an avid Drag Race fan myself (we get it James, you’re gay), and somebody that cares deeply about my trans family, I was immediately reminded of one of my all-time favourite contestants on the show after hearing RuPaul’s statement regarding trans contestants; Peppermint.
Peppermint was a contestant of Season 9, where she announced to her fellow queens that she was transitioning, becoming the first openly trans contestant in Drag Race herstory. This made a powerful statement to audiences worldwide, and gave trans women well-deserved validation about their position within the drag community, and platform in general.
But praise be to the drag heavens! Peppermint has teamed up with long-time friend and creative collaborator Cazwell, with their newest venture; Blend. An amalgamation of early ’90s dance meets painfully relevant lyrics, Blend is an anthem for trans people around the world. The chemistry between Peppermint and Cazwell’s production is undeniable throughout the track.
Check out the video directed by Brenden T. R. Gregory below:
Speaking on behalf of my community and for my much-loved trans family, I thank you Peppermint, for reminding us what RuPaul reminds us after each episode; “If You Can’t Love Yourself, How In The Hell You ‘Gonna Love Somebody Else? Can I Get An Amen?”