RuPaul Throws Shade at LOGO Over ‘Tranny’ Debate: ‘I’m Still Paying the F–kin’ Light Bill Over There’

RuPaul reignited debate over use of the word "tranny" on Friday in an interview with Marc Maron in which he blasted activists coming at him for using it.

RupaulSaid Ru in the interview:

…it is not the transsexual community. These are fringe people who are looking for story lines to strengthen their identity as victims. That is what we’re dealing with. It’s not the trans community, because most people who are trans have been through hell and high water and they know — they've looked behind the curtain at Oz and went, 'Oh, this is all a f**king joke. But, some people haven't… You know, if your idea of happiness has to do with someone else changing what they say, what they do, you are in for a f**king hard-ass road.

Shortly thereafter, Buzzfeed published a statement from a spokesman at LOGO, the network which airs RuPaul's Drag Race, distancing the network from the remarks:

“These comments did not come from Logo. We are committed to supporting the entire LGBT community and will not feature any anti-trans rhetoric on our shows.”

RuPaul took to Twitter the following day and made it clear that Drag Race is the network's bread and butter and can't afford to distance itself from him. He also had a few more things to say on the topic:

Forget an outside threat, the “Gay Movement” will eat itself from the inside out…Orwell’s book “Animal Farm”: The pigs didn’t really want a revolution, they just wanted to BE ‘Farmer John’…The absurdity! It’s as if Jay Z got offended by Kanye using the word “Nigga”…It’s not the word itself, but the intention behind the word…

…Trust! @LogoTV hasn’t “distanced” itself from me, not while I’m still payin’ the f%kin’ light bill over there…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"

Comments

  1. Ryan says

    Well Ru is right.. without Drag Race, LOGO is nothing. LOGO better be careful, they’re already pushing it. Also, Buzzfeed and Huffpost need to stop instigating.

  2. Cory says

    What I’m not getting about this whole thing is Transgender means non-gender binary which includes transsexuals, cross dressers, transvestites, etc

    Ru even self-identifies as a transvestite, which the slang term “tranny” came from. And although it’s used against ALL under the umbrella term Transgender, I do not see why Ru is being vilified for calling herself and using the language she should be freely able to.

    It’s a shame really that some people would push our sister off a cliff.

    Leave Ru alone, but I’d argue they should handle this privately and try and make everyone happy. Which means listening to ALL of our transgender family.

  3. Hrm says

    GO RU! It’s totally true! RuPaul keeps that stupid network in business. What else do they have? That dumb “art reality show” with Johnny Weir?

  4. Derrick from Philly says

    The term is only one f.cking syllable more: TRANSWOMAN. Why can’t Ru give that little courtesy?

    How do Gay men like it when other Gays call you a queen? You don’t like it, do you?

    I think Rupaul is being very very insensitive here…hell, the b.tch is being a bytch.

  5. Polyboy says

    Because it does not just mean “Transwoman” because when the gender warriors were cobbling Transvestites, Gender Queers, Transexuals, and the lot under the “Transgender” umbrella, “tranny” was another term like many was offensive to some and a term of endearment when used by others.

    Now suddenly the Transvestites are devalued by the Transwomen.

    It’s not about respect at this point. It is about nothing but power.

  6. Mawm says

    I’m with Ru-Paul. It is all about the intent of the word. If the intent of using the word is to demean, then it is bad. If the intent of the word is camaraderie, then it is good.

    You can’t have word police that say that any and all use of a word is forbidden. Any word can be used to demean someone, if it is uttered in the right context. Calling a woman a “cow” can be demeaning, but what if she is dressed as a cow for Halloween? It’s all about the intent.

  7. Ted says

    The best line…”You know, if your idea of happiness has to do with someone else changing what they say, what they do, you are in for a f**king hard-ass road.” So freakin true.

  8. Ted says

    @Derrick From Philly…”How do Gay men like it when other Gays call you a queen? You don’t like it, do you?” Don’t have a problem with it. Not that thin-skinned.

  9. oncemorewithfeeling says

    Why is RuPaul insisting on being such an enemy of the LGBT community?

    He’s got a hit cult show and more of a career than he could possibly ever expected to have, thanks to the LGBT community. He’s not a punk kid finding himself and fighting the man. He is the man.

    Time to grow up and act like it.

  10. Keith says

    I’m with Ru. Tranny has belong to the Drag Community for much longer than the Trans Community.
    Ru has always held transwomen in the highest regard and featured them on his show since the beginning.

  11. dwarka says

    Because Faggot was never a term of endearment, broadly speaking, and comes from when gay men were burned at the stake. Sorry but ‘tranny’ doesn’t have the same connotation.

  12. alguien says

    my mother always taught me that if someone doesn’t want to be called a certain name, then you cease calling them that — it’s simply good manners.

    i don’t even know why there’s any discussion on this.

  13. Troy says

    Who knows this may just be the motivation for our Ru to strike out and do his own network, now put that in your peacepipe!
    He’s already there and for real, he can give it a go; gethie. getchie ai ya, ai ya!

  14. dwarka says

    @Alguein – that’s a personal choice, and anyone who doesn’t want to be called tranny can say that – this is about speaking for everyone in the ‘community’, whether they like it or not.

  15. Matt says

    I’m with Ru. My view is don’t take offense unless offense is intended. That’s why the same word can be either an insult or a term of affection, depending on who said it and why. Go Ru.

  16. Chip says

    This whole fight to eliminate “tranny” from our collective vocabulary would go a lot smoother if we could be given an alternative word to use. A word that isn’t clinical sounding; “homosexual” isn’t a good replacement for “gay,” for example.

    If you want someone to stop doing something, you don’t just tell them what NOT to do, you have to tell them what TO do.

  17. Derrick from Philly says

    OK, those of you Gay men who say you don’t mind being called a queen…well, I’m not going dispute YOU, but I’ve witnessed Gay men physically fight after being called a queen or a b.tch.

    But I’ll tell you what. Go around and start calling Black folks Negro or Colored to their faces, and lets see what happens.

    If a Transwoman or Transsexual woman says do not call me a tranny–then just do what the f.ck she asked you to.

  18. Kenneth says

    Words only have as much power against us as we allow. People will always look for terms to denigrate, humiliate or differentiate. Stop using tranny, they’ll find another word. If someone calls me queer, faggot, queen, whatever…I just smile, nod and move on. I don’t give these words any power whatsoever. They end up looking foolish, and I take great satisfaction in that. Members of any community, black, Hispanic, LGBT, etc. that want to disempower the hate behind a word, can only succeed if they treat that word equally. It’s meaningless if I accept fag from another gay man but bristle or come undone when I hear it from a straight person. We have no control over other peoples’ intentions. We have control over our reactions. If we react as if we are offended, the other party has achieved their goal. If we react as if it’s no big deal, we have defeated them.

  19. Mawm says

    DERRICK FROM PHILLY, the issue is whether the word should be banned from all use. You failed to include transvestite in your list. RuPaul is a transvestite and wants to continue using the word. Some people want to be the word police, so they can dictate which words can be used in ANY context.

  20. steve says

    RuPaul seems to be under the impression that because he’s black and successful that means he’s Oprah. Nope. He’s also not a sociologist, psychologist, or anthropologist. His expertise is in entertaining and he should remember that.

  21. Still says

    I’ve always hated the LGBT label. Nobody consulted me on whether I wanted to be lumped in with the T’s and be called part of a community.

  22. Derrick from Philly says

    @ MAWM,

    I appreciate the civility of your response (wish we had more it around here–but I’m a guilty part to the uncivility).

    When I think of a transvestite, I think of a Straight guy who likes to dress in women’s clothing in private–for pleasure.

    When I think of a Transwoman, I HAVE LEARNED from this blog that she may or may not have complete transition surgery, but she is a woman (Laverne Cox).

    When I think of a Transsexual woman, I think of someone who wants complete transition (through surgery) and will become A WOMAN (Jayne County).

    It’s all about RESPECT (chile, I’m starting to do my Aretha impersonation)

  23. gustavo says

    RuPaul is saying she’s a tranny. It never just meant transgender. She has a right to call herself that and to use the term. She’s a transvestite.

    It’s the same point that Parker Malloy is making. She does not want to call herself tranny. She wants to call herself a woman. She has the right to use that term.

    Didn’t we go through this with the term queer a few years ago? What did we learn from it?

  24. says

    “He’s got a hit cult show and more of a career than he could possibly ever expected to have, thanks to the LGBT community.”

    You’ve got this a little backwards: there’s an LGBT “community” [Editor’s Note: There actually really *isn’t* a community] thanks to queers/trannies like RuPaul. The lack of historical perspective for anything that happened five minutes before the latest online activist discovered the uproar is depressing.

  25. Marlon Manroe says

    Sorry, I totally agree with and back Ru. Tranny was never a slur in this context (nor in general that I knew of). He’s not even talking about Transexuals. Transgender people do not OWN this word. It would be like homosexuals trying to ban use of the word gay when it has multiple meanings. Now, if you’re SO sensitive that me describing you as gay were to get you all butt hurt, then yes, I wouldn’t describe YOU as gay. However, I would still use it, especially seeing that it’s not a slur.

  26. NOTICE says

    I’m with Ru on this one.

    These kids need to get an education about their own history and have some respect for the people who paved the way for them.

    Tranny has been around a lot longer than the word transexual and belongs to the transvestite community. Maybe a better tactic would be to distance trans from tranny, and not assume ownership of the word tranny.

  27. Le_Tigre says

    Beginning in 1996, I went to the Trannyshack every Tuesday night for years. I was new to San Francisco and newly “out,” it was the place where I feel like I finally found my tribe! There were lesbos, gay boys, transvestites, queer punks, dykes, drag queens, bulldaggers, art fags, drag kings, straights!, every gender and identity category one can think of went there. And we all were there because it was a safe place, where all these different people could gather and have fun without the imposition of normative society. Trannyshack, at its essence, was a celebration of the diversity of our community, in the most irreverent, outrageous, messy, dangerous, and un-politically correct ways that it could be imagined! That’s what was so amazing about it!

    I stand with Mama Ru!

  28. Nomaad says

    The only person you can really change is yourself. If I’d had an issue with someone calling me a ‘queen’, what would have been a more efficient and beneficial solution:

    A/ force every single person in the world to stop calling me ‘a queen';
    B/ try and understand why I have an issue with being called a ‘queen’, deal with it and be not bothered?

  29. Rene says

    Regardless of what you think about use of the word, drag was always “punk” and never played by the rules. Now that it’s BECOMING (isn’t quite) more mainstream, we applaud the players who’ve made it, yet suddenly want them to play by “the rules.”

    “You have a larger platform, so you need to…” NO! I disagree. Bring your truth to that platform, regardless of what it is and whomever it may offend.

    If you’re not spewing hate (and RuPaul isn’t), and you know who you are, where you come from, and the intent behind your actions, then go for it. Parker and Carmen and others are worried about collateral damage from using the word, but they can’t fairly say that RuPaul’s intentions have been transphobic because an equal case can be made for her blowing the covers off of transphobia.

  30. Marksgv says

    Ah, yes, the wonderful evolution of progress. Those who were at the forefront, facing the biggest hurdles and walls, and the worst conditions, get thrown under a bus, by those who benefited from all that hard work. The next generations, not having to worry so much about the big issues, dwell on the minutiae, and act, loudly, as if, that is as important and personal as the real battles that came before.

  31. EJ says

    Team Ru on this one. I understand that some people find the term tranny offensive, but the flip of the coin is others do not. If the bar is set so high that having some people take offense to a term makes it a complete no go for everyone, then we absolutely need to have the same standards across the board. We can not make the argument that tranny is hurtful so we must stop using it and still use and “reclaim” words like queer. Have we not documented how many are offended by that term and will never be ok with it? Must we now also stop calling ourselves “homosexual” if that label applies because some people use that in a derogatory way towards gays? Can we still find credible the use of “cis” since that is just another label applied to individuals by a group who is not represented by it rather than a term “cis” people created to represent themselves?

  32. jef says

    People trying to make something of “queen,” you understand Ru uses that term all the time on his show, with the same amount of love she uses with “tranny,” and no one has mounted a campaign against it. So, no, no one cares if people use the word “queen” in exactly the same way.

  33. Why says

    I have nothing but love and admiration for RuPaul. She is so wise and smart, and she addressed people’s concerns on multiple levels; some that complainers clearly didn’t understand. She took it to a meta-spiritual level that complainers just didn’t give a damn about considering.

    As was said, the word Tranny doesn’t just mean transgendered or transexual, but transvestite (synonym for drag queen) as well. RuPaul is and has been a drag queen for a LONG time. She has the right to use that word.

    Also as was said, the appropriate or inappropriate use of words depends on context. And from what I’ve seen in ALL comments sections discussing this, complainers don’t seem cognizant of the way in which the word “tranny” was used on the show. It’s as if they didn’t even watch the show or the in-context uses they are apparently so offended by. Complainers, like those found here, speak vaguely, coming from the assumption that Ru has been ‘going around calling people tranny’, and ‘calling transexuals and transgenders tranny’. That was NEVER the case.
    Ru never did any of that. If Ru refers to herself, or her girls, as ‘tranny’, as a term of endearment, transexuals and transgenders don’t have a good reason to step in and say “you can’t say that!”.

    Moreover in regards to these word-police, I’ve noticed that those complainers about the word ‘tranny’ who profess or insinuate that they themselves are transgendered or transexual, suggest that transgendered or transexual people are in fact heterosexual.
    Now, if a mtf individual is attracted to men and thinks of herself as a straight woman, fine. If a ftm trans person who is attracted to women sees himself as a heterosexual male, fine.
    But these people are dismissing the very real ftm’s that are attracted to men, and mtf’s that are attracted to women, and DON’T consider themselves as straight.

    These transgendered and transexual people complaining are the same people who dismiss Carmen Carrera, and call her a ‘queen’ or ‘drag queen’ in the pejorative sense.

    RuPaul comes from a place of love, and some people just aren’t having it; they’re ignoring it. They care more about their false narrative, their straw-man, of a Ru that goes around calling random people names in the pejorative sense.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that these complainers are SEPARATISTS. They are cannibals to the LGBT communities. They want to seize the word “tranny” for themselves, and exclude categories of people who until recently would never have been excluded.

  34. Philip says

    The very concept of drag, from its inception, has always been about pushing the envelope. It is BOUND to be offensive. Do you think the term “fishy queen” comes from a very Politically Correct place? The drag subculture is rooted in offensive terms used as loving and celebratory exclamations. The “C” bomb is used regularly. Drag is punk rock, underground and once the veil is lifted away on any subculture people are bound to find things they take offense to. This is why we love them! They say things, dress in ways and live in ways we never could! Once we strip them of their catch phrases and their buzz words they slowly become homogenized and less exciting. I hope Ru manages to keep the integrity of the show because Logo owes A LOT of their success to his show’s popularity. If they smooth the edge from his show people with lose respect for it and stop watching… no one wins then.

  35. Rowan says

    Derrick, ‘queen’ is NOT an abbreviation to homosexual or gay. You mean ‘homo’? TRANS is an abbv to transverstite. It’s not as simple as you make it.

    Ru has been dressing like this in the privacy of her own home but in public since the 90’s and getting beat up for it! So you want her to stop after 30 years because some transgender activists have decided they find it offensive??

    WTF?

    I hate ‘n*gga’. But I don’t see you calling it all those so called black entertainers for saying it ALL the time….?

    Come on now!

  36. Rowan says

    I will also say as a Brit that you guys go CRAZY with the c*nt word…which is not a big deal in England..AT ALL. And I use it all the time…so do women.

  37. Ulu says

    I agree with Ru. Drag queens/trannies were never the enemy of trans people. Trans people should focus on their real enemies, transphobic straight people.

  38. Derrick from Philly says

    ROWAN,

    I’m still here at work so I can answer your comment. It’s simply a matter of respect.

    One of my last remaining friends from the 1970s refuses to use the term “Transwoman”. He still says drag queen.

    I try to explain to him that there is difference between a drag queen (performer) and a Transwoman.

    He says, “…whatever”.

    ROWAN, all I want to do is RESPECT what folks ask of me.

    (and that’s the 6th time I’ve used the word “RESPECT” on this blog today.)

    Ok, Y’all forced me…

    What you want, baby, I got it..
    What you need, do you know I got it

    All I want you to do for me– is give it to me, Baby. when I get home

  39. Anon says

    DerrickFromPhilly,

    It comes across as disingenuous to ask, “out of respect”, for someone to stop referring to themselves or in-group members as something they all are comfortable identifying as.
    Transexuals and transgenders CAN reclaim “trans” from transphobes who use the word in the pejorative sense. However, transexuals and transgenders can NOT reclaim “trans” from transvestites (drag-queens) who have reclaimed that word for themselves from transphobes.

    Ru is right. You and others just want to be Farmer John.

  40. Mike in the Tundra says

    “If a Transwoman or Transsexual woman says do not call me a tranny–then just do what the f.ck she asked you to.”

    Yet, they have no problem attaching cis- to our gender in spite of protests from us.

  41. Island Planet says

    Insisting that other people aren’t allowed to use a word because it offends someone else is on it’s face ridiculous. Where would that ever end? Giving Ru, or anyone else, hell for using a word to denigrate or embarrass someone on TV would be absolutely right (and required). Whether that word is tranny, fag, or she-mail. But Ru has never uttered one of these phrases in anger, or to put someone down.

    While I’m ranting let me say that when Ru has a communiqué for the girls they call it ‘she-mail’ – a play on Survivor’s ubiquitous ‘tree-mail’. Any half-wit who finds that offensive should turn the goddam channel and let the rest of us have some fun!

  42. graphicjack` says

    Here’s the thing… these trans activists who don’t like the word “tranny” have every right not to ask to be called tranny themselves if they don’t like the word, but why should a drag queen stop using it in her own circle of friends or even on her show among a community that doesn’t mind it and in fact likes the use of the word?

    By all means define yourself as you wish, but don’t expect others to embrace your words for themselves or be happy about you trying to force us how to define ourselves.

    I am a gay man, and I take issue with being called “cis” by trans people, mainly because it feels like they are being dismissive in some way and it’s a label I don’t identify with. I don’t like the term, so don’t call me that… same thing if a trans person doesn’t want to be called a tranny… I won’t call them that, either. This, to me, is what RESPECT is, and it goes both ways.

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