Sasha Colby breaks down the biggest misconception about trans people: ‘We aren’t tricking people’

Sasha Colby

RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Sasha Colby and Pose star Angelica Ross have revealed what they feel are the biggest misconceptions about trans people.

Legendary drag performer Colby has become a beacon of hope for trans youth ever since storming to victory in Drag Race season 15 earlier this year.

She’s given the middle finger to anti-trans legislators through her performances, mocked JK Rowling for her so-called gender-critical views, and even had a shout out in the US House of Representatives.

Now, she’s tackling some of the biggest myths, lies and fairy tales told about trans people, as part of ABC News’ Freedom to Exist Pride special.

Sasha Colby waits to hear if she has won RuPaul's Drag Race season 15.
Drag Race winner Sasha Colby wants to normalise trans bodies on screen. (Twitter/@RuPaulsDragRace)

With hundreds of pieces of anti-trans legislation being advanced in the US, and UK politicians across the political spectrum forcing the conversation about trans equality into the gutter, there has been a lot of room for disinformation to spread.

Myths include the idea that the majority of trans people regret transitioning after accessing gender-affirming care, or the notion that being trans is a social contagion sweeping the younger generation.

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Then there’s the idea that trans people are inherently dangerous – feeding into the harmful “groomer” narrative that’s persisted against the LGBTQ+ community for decades.

In her interview, Colby said: “I think the biggest misconception about trans people is that we are tricking people,” seemingly referring to the moral panic around trans people supposedly lying about their identity to access female-only spaces.

“This is specifically so we can move freely in our skin,” she said of why people transition. “It isn’t putting an agenda on anything. Only the strong can do this. We wouldn’t want everyone to experience this unless it was needed.

“A lot of the time you couldn’t get a job as a trans person, you can’t get insurance, you can’t get the normal things… you’re always on the fringe. For them to think that we want to be treated [that way] is crazy.”

Another misconception Colby highlighted was that trans people historically don’t offer anything to society, adding that they “offer so much knowledge and patience and guidance, especially to younger queer kids who need it”.

American Horror Story star Ross chipped in to say that the biggest misconception she sees about trans people is around why people think it’s a “choice” to be trans.

“It is a choice and it’s hard to understand when the choice I’m talking about is choosing yourself. That’s the choice.” Those who hold bigoted views about trans people or enact anti-trans legislation are doing so because they “are not choosing themselves”, she added.

“That’s the jealousy, that’s the hatred, people seeing trans people make a choice to choose themselves and they can’t make that choice themselves. I don’t mean that everybody wants to transition, but everybody wants to be free.”

Yellowjackets star Nicole Maines and The Umbrella Academy’s Elliot Page also appeared as part of the ABC special, with the latter revealing how gender dysphoria during his teen years left him feeling “self-disgust”.

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