Celebrity Big Brother 2018: India Willoughby says genderfluid people ‘cheapen’ transgender struggle

India Willoughby (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

Transgender Loose Women star India Willoughby has sparked an online backlash by saying drag queens and genderfluid people “cheapen” the trans rights cause.

Willoughby, 51, entered the Celebrity Big Brother House when the show returned on Tuesday night.

She joined anti-LGBT former Conservative Party MP Ann Widdecombe in a so-far all-female cast, supposedly to celebrate 100 years of some women having the vote.

(Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

Yesterday, she revealed her feelings about drag queens in a shocking diatribe to fellow housemate Maggie Oliver.

“For people like me, it’s not a part-time thing and not a choice”, Willoughby said.

“That word ‘transgender’ can mean anything from RuPaul to someone who’s Bob one day and Barbara another day, and I think that cheapens the seriousness of it”.

People immediately took to Twitter to condemn the former newsreader’s outburst.

“India’s choice of words on #CBB tonight? Inaccurate, to say the least.

“#RuPaul’s drag queens don’t necessarily all identify as trans – and it’s pretty ignorant to suggest that his show “cheapens the concept of transgenderism”, one person said.


“India, I don’t think people confuse RuPaul with transgender”. We all know RuPaul is drag,” another wrote.


Some highlighted their concerns over India’s view of gender.

“Think India’s problem stems from thinking about gender as a binary and not a spectrum!” one person wrote.

“I hope Courtney Act and her have some enlightening convos together”.


As this person highlighted, more controversy could be on the way as Courtney, of RuPaul’s Drag Race fame, set to enter the house on Friday.

The drag queen, who identifies as genderfluid, is known for their fiercely outspoken support of trans rights, including genderfluidity awareness.

(Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Courtney posts regular videos in which they debunk myths and misconceptions around gender.

Some joked about what the queen’s entrance may be like.


RuPaul clarified the difference between drag queens and transgender people in 2016.

(Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Ozy Fusion Fest 2017)

“Drag is really making fun of identity. We are shapeshifters,” he said.

“We’re like ‘okay, today I’m this, now I’m a cowboy, now I’m this.”

“Transgender people take identity very seriously – their identity is who they are”.

“I come from the school of I will do whatever I want to do, at any time, and change – whatever!”

One person summed up their take on the issue perfectly.


Celebrity Big Brother continues tonight on Channel 5.