Drag Queens | News | RuPaul | Transgender

'RuPaul's Drag Race' to Drop Usage of Transphobic Slur

Logo announced today that it would be dropping usage of the term 'She-Mail', a pun on a slur often used against trans people, after anger from trangender advocates, the HuffPost reports.

Said Logo in a statement:

RupaulWe wanted to thank the community for sharing their concerns around a recent segment and the use of the term 'she-mail' on Drag Race.

Logo has pulled the episode from all of our platforms and that challenge will not appear again. Furthermore, we are removing the 'You've got she-mail' intro from new episodes of the series.

We did not intend to cause any offense, but in retrospect we realize that it was insensitive. We sincerely apologize.

In related news, more than 100 trans women have signed a letter denouncing two recent articles about the show's use of transphobic slurs.

Write the letter's signatories:

We, the undersigned trans women and trans-feminine individuals, are appalled at recent attacks on trans woman journalist Parker Marie Molloy published by Calpernia Addams and Andrea James on the Huffington Post and Boing Boing. Addams’ and James’ hit pieces exhibit a pervasive hostility to young, queer trans women, and indeed any trans woman who is uncomfortable with the use of transmisogynist slurs by cisgender drag queens like RuPaul. They display homophobia, transphobia, ignorance, dishonesty, and hatred throughout.

Addams' and James' articles were published in response to commentary from Advocate writer Parker Marie Molloy over the RuPaul controversy. Said Molloy in a tweet from March 18 (which coincided with an article published the same day): "I f--king hate @RuPaul. Like... there really are very few people I truly hate. He is one of them."

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  1. How touchy can you get? The show has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive on transgender issues (see Carmen Carrera & Monica Beverly Hillz), and people get upset over a word? Drag queen humour is supposed to be offensive and politically incorrect, and if you take offense to it, it doesn't mean the jokes are insensitive. It just means you lack the ability to laugh at yourself.

    Posted by: Chris K | Apr 14, 2014 12:39:40 PM

  2. good gawd getta grip gurl.
    This is lame.

    Posted by: David | Apr 14, 2014 12:43:43 PM

  3. If trans people want us to change the way we interact with them because our behavior is offensive, then we should change our behavior.

    Trans people deserve our respect and acceptance and do not deserve to be a punchline to a joke.

    Posted by: NotSafeForWork | Apr 14, 2014 12:44:30 PM

  4. I do love and respect RuPaul, and I admit to being ignorant of trans issues. This is a learning experience, so mostly I just want to observe and hope everyone is respectful.

    Posted by: Mikey | Apr 14, 2014 12:47:15 PM

  5. People need to be able recognize who is on their side.

    Posted by: Pablo | Apr 14, 2014 12:48:12 PM

  6. Imagine if Transgender people put this much time and effort to actually gain rights for themselves.

    Posted by: Ryan | Apr 14, 2014 12:50:41 PM

  7. How can anyone hate Rupaul??? I looked at Parker's tweets after reading the mention of the one nasty one in this article, and she seems to be a pretty unhappy person in general. Whatever. I'm glad Rupaul seems to be willing to learn from what was a teachable moment, I think Ru is an excellent role model and advocate for LGBT youth.

    Posted by: Lucas H | Apr 14, 2014 12:56:13 PM

  8. Privilege: The assertion that since it is not a problem for _you_, the problem does not exist.

    Posted by: Gregory In Seattle | Apr 14, 2014 1:02:19 PM

  9. Good for Ru. Why continue to deliberately use a term that members of a group have repeatedly said they find insulting?

    Posted by: plinx | Apr 14, 2014 1:02:24 PM

  10. I still wouldn't watch RuPaul's show. Not if you paid me to do it! I consider him the Gay version of Stepin Fetchit.

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | Apr 14, 2014 1:03:46 PM

  11. And he'd likely consider you an Uncle Tom Doormat, Stuffy :)

    nice to see the show *listened* to the criticisms and understood the perspectives of those who took issue with the terms used.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 14, 2014 1:07:06 PM

  12. Drag performers are not trans nor should they be expected to represent the trans communities. I'm glad that Rupaul decided to change a term that has offended transwomen. But transwomen should also not expect drag performers to create or represent the trans community to the public. Drag performers present themselves as female for totally different reasons than transwomen do. Their performance is a send up of gender and sexuality.

    Posted by: mike128 | Apr 14, 2014 1:11:23 PM

  13. to Mike128's nicely nuanced and fair point - drag is also traditionally and indeed *inherently* about subverting norms.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Apr 14, 2014 1:18:03 PM

  14. Either slurs are ok, or they aren't.

    Just because a slur doesn't offend you personally isn't the point. I think the show made the right decision. If it was a show about trans people, and they used the term, that would be another story.

    It would be like straight guys having a show called "Hey Faggot!"

    Posted by: SPOT | Apr 14, 2014 1:19:19 PM

  15. Hey trans activists, how about you fight for things that actually matter instead of intentionally misunderstanding satire to bring attention to yourselves in the worst light possible?

    Posted by: Chris | Apr 14, 2014 1:27:47 PM

  16. I'm a strong believer in comedic license. Comedians should be given wide latitude in their entertainment, even to the point of saying things some people might find offensive. Unless it's way over the line and mean-spirited, then people should hold their tongues.

    Posted by: Merv | Apr 14, 2014 1:30:30 PM

  17. It's time for rounding up the rabid pro-hetero trans activists and sending them to camps, they are as evil and dangerous as Christians

    Posted by: litper | Apr 14, 2014 1:35:05 PM

  18. they don't like any thing that reminds them they aren't actually women. So the male part of she-male is just too much.

    I am sure they have a special hatred for "cisgender drag queens" as evidenced in this article.

    I guess all the hormones make the so emotional and bitchy

    Posted by: Homo Genius | Apr 14, 2014 1:39:44 PM

  19. I love RuPaul and always will but I can understand trans people not wanting us to use these terms. I am glad they are making these changes and I will still watch the show. Hopefully, one day we can all work together to make this a better place. We (gay men) get bent out of shape when people call us faggots, usually right before they beat or kill us. From what I have read in the news, they do pretty much the same thing to trans people, especially to trans women. Here's one gay guy who has your back, I think it is ok to admire the art of drag and still stand for our trans brothers and sisters.

    Posted by: WayneMPLS | Apr 14, 2014 1:45:50 PM

  20. Yet again, I will never understand why commenters on this site are so transphobic. What I found interesting is they spelled it "she-mail" Is this the same as a female mail carrier or are they so damn clueless over at that network they can't even spell correctly the slurs they are using?

    Posted by: Sean | Apr 14, 2014 1:47:02 PM

  21. I find CIS offensive.

    Please don't use it anymore.

    Posted by: Truthiness | Apr 14, 2014 1:48:36 PM

  22. @Wayne there's nothing wrong in beating hetero-worshipping trans activists who want to destroy the gay community, they were destroying it from the beginning when they realised they couldn't hold the progress of gay rights anymore they infiltrated the gay movement with their propaganda of effeminacy. But even there they failed. Now they're so desperate, they will attack even the pre-op transsexuals (drag queens) for not being trans enough and comforming to their hetero ideals!

    Posted by: litper | Apr 14, 2014 1:51:28 PM

  23. Sean, seriously? It's spelled she-mail because it's mail. Like email, but ladyfied. It's not a slur, it's a pun.

    Posted by: Chris | Apr 14, 2014 1:52:42 PM

  24. Litper done lost his marbles.

    Posted by: Mikey | Apr 14, 2014 1:53:45 PM

  25. LOL.

    Drag performance is as Gay as Vaseline and KY Jelly. Some of y'all (Rick) are plain silly. Get away from that keyboard and change ya' damn drawahs, will ya'?

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 14, 2014 1:56:47 PM

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