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Old 03-06-2018, 10:12 PM   #1
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Default RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE TRANSPHOBIA?

Just curious if anyone else has seen the controversy coming out today about Rupaul's comments about how he didn't think it would be fair to allow fully transitioned women to compete on Drag Race?

There is an article here in case you haven't seen it:

https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/3/6...ew-controversy

There are a LOT of articles as the story has evolved and I highly suggest checking them out for all of the nuances.

Curious about what folks think on this? And if the roles were reversed and there was a show for Drag Kings, how folks would feel for fully-transitioned men to participate?
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Old 03-06-2018, 11:25 PM   #2
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This sparked my interest although I'm not sure why.

I have never seen the show, and I was unaware of any controversy on the subject until just reading the linked article. I have not read any other points of view on the subject.

I have always viewed Drag, from way back when, as performance art. Along the lines of cabaret. Designed to subvert outward biology and the norms associated with it as a show of power, perversion, and yes, humor. Whether Queen or King. I view transgender as a deliberate life choice/need and not a performance. My opinion only, obviously.

It sounds most like a case of private ownership, Ru Paul owns a show designed for entertainment and can do whatever with it. Feelings get hurt in these highly charged topics, but there are always choices.

Anyone else can start their own show and set their own guidelines for participation, it sounds like there might be an audience for something broader spectrum now.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:21 AM   #3
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For Me it's a matter of wording.. if you are trans you are not a drag queen you are a woman.. or drag king or a man... the whole point of Drag is a show it's not your daily wear.. it's makeup and costumes.. just like when Carmen was on there.. she had not transitioned yet... anyways that's just My opinion for whatever it's worth.. again for Me it's in the wording.. it's ru Paul's Drag Race and being trans is serious not a drag show.. that's where I think ru was headed with it.. ru is right it wouldn't be fair because if you have transitioned you have had major work done to perfect your putter looks to match your inner...again just My opinion
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Old 03-17-2018, 02:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelt View Post
This sparked my interest although I'm not sure why.

I have never seen the show, and I was unaware of any controversy on the subject until just reading the linked article. I have not read any other points of view on the subject.

I have always viewed Drag, from way back when, as performance art. Along the lines of cabaret. Designed to subvert outward biology and the norms associated with it as a show of power, perversion, and yes, humor. Whether Queen or King. I view transgender as a deliberate life choice/need and not a performance. My opinion only, obviously.
I too have never seen the show and didn't know about the controversy.

I agree with everything Kelt says here, except I don't see being transgender as a "deliberate life choice/need". But, I wonder if Kelt meant to say "medical transition" here instead of transgender. I will give him a ring-a-ding-ding to ask him.

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Originally Posted by AmazonDC View Post
For Me it's a matter of wording.. if you are trans you are not a drag queen you are a woman.. or drag king or a man... the whole point of Drag is a show it's not your daily wear.. it's makeup and costumes.. just like when Carmen was on there.. she had not transitioned yet... anyways that's just My opinion for whatever it's worth.. again for Me it's in the wording.. it's ru Paul's Drag Race and being trans is serious not a drag show.. that's where I think ru was headed with it.. ru is right it wouldn't be fair because if you have transitioned you have had major work done to perfect your putter looks to match your inner...again just My opinion
I agree.

Medusa, you have a good point when it is asked if people would be ok with medically transitioned male identified trans men doing Drag (as Drag Kings). I think that where things become sticky is when there are Drag Kings (who started the art as female), who want to continue to do Drag when they transition. I think many do continue, as I suspect that the Drag King community/allies allow it. But, that would be me stating that I still belong in lesbian only spaces when I am male identified trans man.

You can't have it both ways.

------

*Definition of lesbian (Oxford English Dictionary):
NOUN
A homosexual woman.
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Old 03-17-2018, 10:52 PM   #5
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Appreciate your thoughts, folks!

I've continues to watch this unfold even though I haven't watched any of the new seasons in a couple of years (I don't do tv unless I'm at JD's!). It looks as if there are a few queens who have begun their transitions who are really upset with what they feel are transphobic statements from RuPaul.

One point that another queen (who is not transitioning) made is that the women who have transitioned or are in the process of transitioning have an unfair advantage when it comes to the art of drag aka "female impersonation".

Since they *are* female they aren't impersonating a female. Some of them have had breast augmentation and electrolysis which also gives them a time advantage when other contestants are having to spend time strapping on a breast plate or covering their 5 o'clock shadow.

And you know? That seems fair to say that a person who is not having to strap on a breast plate, tuck and tape their penis and balls, and spackle their facial hair has the advantage of spending less time to "look" female because they already *are* female.

Maybe it's as simple as changing the concept of the show but RuPaul seemed to be making the point that he was all about old-school drag where men wear dresses and impersonate females. I have watched and loved RuPaul for years and I feel like he has a really good and honest heart. He doesn't seem like the type to just flippantly make transphobic comments or be hateful about other people's bodies.
I'll see if I can get JD to come in here and comment on his perception of RuPaul since they grew up and partied together.
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Old 03-18-2018, 04:24 AM   #6
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I agree with the commenters above. I also have never seen the show and am only vaguely aware of RuPaul. I agree that the point of drag is of how well a male person can present as and imitate a female one, or vice-versa.

One of the things that bemuses me though is comments to the effect that an MTF has necessarily had large amounts of surgery anywhere other than to have their genitalia amended. That is absolutely NOT the case. I had no surgery other than the adjustment to my genitalia. My breasts are what grew naturally under the influence of hormone replacement therapy, and whilst they're small and I would've liked them to be somewhat larger, I know that I'm hardly alone amongst tall women in wishing I had slightly larger breasts and a cleavage instead of a clear gap! That just tends to go with the territory of being tall. And one of mine is slightly higher than the other, one is a bit perkier, and they seem to 'point' in different directions... perfectly normal, in other words. I was far from alone in being thus amongst MTFs in the UK that went through the system around when I did.

Sigh... but there y'go, most of us have to live with less than perfect bodies., and I wouldn't have wanted to have breast implants unless my body hadn't developed breasts at all under the influence of HRT. Some don't, and do need implants to achieve a feminine chest, whilst others respond so well to oestrogens that folk probably assume that they have had implants even when they haven't. But I don't knock any MTF for having had extra surgery in order to feminise this or that about their body - ultimately, it's whatever makes them feel free of the bodily dysphoria and comfortable in their own body, so they can go on to live as normal a life as possible.

However, I've recently become aware that nowadays some use the term 'trans' to include some who clearly do not have the kind of bodily dysphoria that I did. It staggered me to learn that some even wish to retain their penises - and do! That is to say, they are not prevented from having the surgery I had by any medical conditions, such as heart problems or obesity. They are, quite simply, perfectly happy retaining their penis.

I cannot comprehend that mindset. I do not understand how anyone identifying as female could be happy having a penis. It's a difference in kind of dysphoria, rather than degree, in my opinion. I do not deny that they must have (had) some kind of dysphoria, but whatever it was/is, it ain't what ailed me. I'll use whatever pronouns they like of them, but I do not understand them (but then, I do not need to in order to be civil to them). And I am deeply disturbed that ,notionally, I am supposed to be part of a 'trans community' that has attitudes I do not identify with one bit.

Anyway, to get back on the topic - I've never been particularly into drag acts, but I recently became aware of one called Courtney Act, who clearly identifies as male, but looks utterly amazing as a woman - because he has a slender body as a starting point (and I would imagine must work at it to keep it that way) and also puts a lot of effort into his appearance when he does drag. Lads like that (and their female drag-king equivalents) are what drag is all about IMHO. If you allow MTF's on RuPaul's show, then what's to stop the likes of those who have had extensive feminising surgeries to take part? Supposing Courtney Act were on the show and an MTF that looked just like Courtney but that pretty much just woke up that way each morning? Who should win of the two? My vote would go to Courtney, because of the effort put in.

I'm just now gone and read the article linked to. Interesting. But again, I am staggered to learn that, apparently, there are MTF's who perform drag - that is to say, their performance is to present as female. Now, don't get me wrong - I do not condemn them in the slightest for doing so. Hey, so long as it's all consenting adults, whatever makes you happy! I simply do not understand their mindset. RuPaul clearly was out of touch with regard to using a term like 'shemail' and not understanding that 'tranny' has been used as a painful form of verbal abuse - I've been called both, in the past, thankfully not often, but unfortunately always when my self-confidence was at a low ebb.

But it's become evident to me recently that I, like RuPaul, am a bit of an old dinosaur - neither of us quite comprehends just what has been going on 'out there' with regard to how terms have changed in use, and clearly there are more people coming out about their particular issues related to sex and gender and gender role than was the case when I went through surgery, let alone when I was growing up. It's only fairly recently that I finally lost that slight sense of 'otherness' that I had long felt compared to other women - and whether you feel that that should or should not be the case, I can tell you that losing that feeling has been a boon to my mental health - and I no longer identify as being 'trans-' anything. I'm a woman, a lesbian, that's it.

I do not see being MTF as something to celebrate - it was a horrible life-threatening condition that I wouldn't wish on anyone. I do not see being MTF as something that defines me socially in the way that my being female or lesbian does. It affects my social life, due to individuals feelings about folk such as me, but it doesn't define it. The very concept of a 'trans community' is alien to me, and as strange as the notion of a 'community' of folk who've had appendicitis, for instance. The nerdy part of my psyche has never been quite comfy with the T in LGBT for that reason, though I do understand in practical terms how that came about and am glad that it did, else we'd still be in the situation we were when I was a kid with regard to public attitudes toward the gender dysphorics in society.

Discovering what the current 'trans community' is like and how utterly alien it is to my mindset - it's been a shock though. I wish them well, and much happiness at the end of their various and particular journies. Just don't assume that I necessarily share their particular vision or feelings, though, please!

In summary, I think RuPaul was on the money in general, but erred in the detail. Life is complicated, and we all make mistakes, sometimes because we don't know any better at the time - all we can do is try to learn from them, and do better in future. Let's move on.
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Old 03-18-2018, 11:54 AM   #7
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As usual with you, there are huge amounts of great thoughts from you that I would love to pull apart layer by layer. A couple of these things do not fit in this thread, but would fit for trans people to talk about in the trans forum. I would like to discuss our "feelings" as trans people about the concepts. Can I initiate a couple of threads by quoting you? I have indicated below, which ones I would like to "move over". Until you consent, I cannot start a thread.
My comments are in blue. The red is highlights of your post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Esme nha Maire View Post

One of the things that bemuses me though is comments to the effect that an MTF has necessarily had large amounts of surgery anywhere other than to have their genitalia amended. That is absolutely NOT the case. I had no surgery other than the adjustment to my genitalia.

In the U.S. the great majority of trans women have not had surgery due to lack of insurance. More and more states are requiring trans health care that private insurors who want to participate in that state provide trans health insurance though. And are requiring companies (except for self insured companies) to provide it to their employees.
However, what we are seeing is the companies that didn't provide it before and are FORCED to provide it put in barriers so that the person cannot get the surgeries covered.


But I don't knock any MTF for having had extra surgery in order to feminise this or that about their body - ultimately, it's whatever makes them feel free of the bodily dysphoria and comfortable in their own body, so they can go on to live as normal a life as possible.

However, I've recently become aware that nowadays some use the term 'trans' to include some who clearly do not have the kind of bodily dysphoria that I did. It staggered me to learn that some even wish to retain their penises - and do! That is to say, they are not prevented from having the surgery I had by any medical conditions, such as heart problems or obesity. They are, quite simply, perfectly happy retaining their penis.

Right, this is one topic I would like to make a thread on to discuss with other trans people. I am wondering about how other trans people feel about this. I also have mixed feelings about it myself, and have had no where to unpack it. The FB trans groups is really not the place for me to do this out of respect for the mixed bag of people on there.

I cannot comprehend that mindset. I do not understand how anyone identifying as female could be happy having a penis. It's a difference in kind of dysphoria, rather than degree, in my opinion. I do not deny that they must have (had) some kind of dysphoria, but whatever it was/is, it ain't what ailed me. I'll use whatever pronouns they like of them, but I do not understand them (but then, I do not need to in order to be civil to them). And I am deeply disturbed that ,notionally, I am supposed to be part of a 'trans community' that has attitudes I do not identify with one bit.

The idea of it being a "different kind of dysphoria" is an interesting one. Something to know (that I would like to post here), is that there are women who want to keep their penises and men that want to keep their vaginas who still identify as binary female/male, so they use she/he pronouns.

Anyway, to get back on the topic - I've never been particularly into drag acts, but I recently became aware of one called Courtney Act, who clearly identifies as male, but looks utterly amazing as a woman - because he has a slender body as a starting point (and I would imagine must work at it to keep it that way) and also puts a lot of effort into his appearance when he does drag. Lads like that (and their female drag-king equivalents) are what drag is all about IMHO. If you allow MTF's on RuPaul's show, then what's to stop the likes of those who have had extensive feminising surgeries to take part? Supposing Courtney Act were on the show and an MTF that looked just like Courtney but that pretty much just woke up that way each morning? Who should win of the two? My vote would go to Courtney, because of the effort put in.

I agree with you. And I don't think MTFs doing drag does the trans community any favors. They are essentially saying they AREN'T women if they are doing Drag (based on the definition), yet they want people to see them and call them women outside of Drag?

It's only fairly recently that I finally lost that slight sense of 'otherness' that I had long felt compared to other women - and whether you feel that that should or should not be the case, I can tell you that losing that feeling has been a boon to my mental health - and I no longer identify as being 'trans-' anything. I'm a woman, a lesbian, that's it.

I am very glad for you. You ARE a woman, and always have been!

I do not see being MTF as something to celebrate - it was a horrible life-threatening condition that I wouldn't wish on anyone. I do not see being MTF as something that defines me socially in the way that my being female or lesbian does. It affects my social life, due to individuals feelings about folk such as me, but it doesn't define it. The very concept of a 'trans community' is alien to me, and as strange as the notion of a 'community' of folk who've had appendicitis, for instance. The nerdy part of my psyche has never been quite comfy with the T in LGBT for that reason, though I do understand in practical terms how that came about and am glad that it did, else we'd still be in the situation we were when I was a kid with regard to public attitudes toward the gender dysphorics in society.

Yes, I agree here. Having the T was useful for trans people,
but I don't think it belongs. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with gender identity. I don't think that the public (or the gay/lesbian/trans community),
really connects LGBT with trans people anyway. It is used, but trans people aren't really "counted" when it is used by the public...if you know what I mean. We ignore the T. Which, I do not have issue with....I do wish the T was dropped so that it is accurate though. This is the other topic I would like to create a thread for to discuss with other trans people. I am interested in knowing how trans people feel about the T being part of the LGBT.

We might be the only ones chatting in the threads, but maybe not! There used to be more medically transitioning trans people on this site and their partners (or at least more verbal ones)...years ago...it is a bummer they have drifted away.
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Old 03-19-2018, 01:26 PM   #8
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Dapper - sure, I have absolutely no problem in your starting a thread or threads as per what you;ve described you;d like to do, quoting bits of what I've said in this thread. You have my permission so to do, sir! :-)
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:34 PM   #9
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I had a housemate who had had FFS long before I knew her. She is a big woman with a deep voice. I don't think she takes hormones anymore although she had for years. She never wears makeup or dresses, and yet I think rarely gets identified by strangers as trans. She is out as trans. A mutual friend, not a close friend of hers, had no clue. My point is that FFS surgery is super effective at feminizing the face. If someone has had those procedures, it would make a drag competition unfair. But drag isn't all about looking feminine. It's also the attitude, the body language, clothes selection and so on. My former housemate wouldn't do well with some of that. I think she wore sweats out to dinner on her anniversary.
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