Drag queen makes important point about what happens when women are excluded

Sara Andrews

A trans drag queen gave a withering assessment of trans inclusion in RuPaul’s Drag Race, explaining why all women, trans and cis, must be included in the art of drag.

RuPaul has recently been forced to defend his infamous remarks about trans women competing in Drag Race, which he said “were taken out of context”.

In 2018, the Emmy Award-winning host told The Guardian that he would “probably not” allow a trans queen who had “started changing [her] body” to compete on the show.

“Drag loses its sense of danger and its sense of irony once it’s not men doing it, because at its core it’s a social statement and a big f-you to male-dominated culture,” he said at the time.

RuPaul holding his Emmy Award, wearing a black jacket and a purple pussy bow

RuPaul recently won his fourth Emmy Award for outstanding host of a reality show. (Getty)

When asked by The Sunday Times about his comments in an interview released on Sunday, September 15, RuPaul said that his words were taken “so out of context”.

“There seems to be this obsession with trying to create this ‘us against them’ storyline,” he added.

“Denying us our rightful place at the table is what creates an ‘us against them’ storyline,” Sara Andrews, a trans queen from Chicago, tweeted in response.

“When drag excludes women and trans women, it goes from being a forward thinking art form to an a** backward, misogynistic and transphobic tool of the patriarchy. Plain and simple.”

You better WORK… harder to practice what you preach.

“I just have one thing to say. You better WORK… harder to practice what you preach.”

Her thread sparked a thoughtful conversation about inclusion within drag.

Drag Race All Stars winner Trinity the Tuck was among those who replied, writing: “Drag can’t exclude anyone. Drag is an art form that anyone can’t participate. PEOPLE exclude PEOPLE. That’s the unfortunate part!”

“Also when public figures (eg drag queens) openly talk about excluding women, it makes women who attend drag shows easier targets for other audience members. Even though drag shows should be a safe space for everyone,” chimed another follower.

Drag Race slow to accept trans women.

Drag Race has courted criticism over the years for its slow progress on trans inclusion.

Season two queen Sonique was the first to come out as trans, but did so after the main competition, during the reunion episode.

Season five contestant Monica Beverly Hillz was the first to compete openly as a trans woman after she came out in the second week during the judges’ critiques. She was eliminated the following week.

Since then, only two openly-trans queens have competed in the show: Peppermint, in season nine, and Gia Gunn in All Stars four.

Several other queens, including Carmen Carrera, Jiggly Caliente and Sytacey Lane Matthews have come out as trans off-screen.