On Tuesday afternoon, Season 9 RuPaul’s Drag Race queen Peppermint issued a response to host RuPaul’s apology, which she issued on Monday afternoon after two days of hefty criticism for a Guardian interview released over the weekend.
“RuPaul kicked open so many doors for queer and gender non-conforming folks and is an absolute trailblazer in the world of drag,” Peppermint wrote at Billboard. “But recently, Ru made statements I disagree with.”
In an interviewwith Guardian, Ru said he would “probably not” allow physically transitioning queens to compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
“You can identify as a woman and say you’re transitioning, but it changes once you start changing your body,” RuPaul said. “It takes on a different thing; it changes the whole concept of what we’re doing. We’ve had some girls who’ve had some injections in the face and maybe a little bit in the butt here and there, but they haven’t transitioned.”
He added that Peppermint was different because she did not have breast implants while she was on the show. Peppermint responded directly to Ru’s comments.
“When I started my transition back in 2012, I learned a valuable lesson. I learned that absolutely no one has the ability or the right to define your womanhood, manhood or transness, but you,”Peppermint wrote. “I also learned women should not be defined by what surgeries they have or haven’t had.”
“The most important takeaway is that ones transition, the beginning, the middle, and end, is entirely personal and cannot be categorized or measured in the context of being blessed by someone else’s validation or approval,” she continued. “RuPaul issued an apology, which I think is an important step in this ongoing conversation. It shows all of us, there is room for growth, education, and I’m hoping a bit of evolution.”
RuPaul’s apology read in part: “Each morning I pray to set aside everything I THINK I know, so I may have an open mind and a new experience. I understand and regret the hurt I have caused. The trans community are heroes of our shared LGBTQ movement. You are my teachers.”
Several queens have also spoken out against RuPaul’s original comments, including Willam and Season 9 winner Sasha Velour, who tweeted words of support to transgender drag queens.
My drag was born in a community full of trans women, trans men, and gender non-conforming folks doing drag. That’s the real world of drag, like it or not. I thinks it’s fabulous and I will fight my entire life to protect and uplift it.
— Sasha Velour (@sasha_velour) March 5, 2018
I was talking about Rupaul. I’m constantly learning from her…how not to behave. https://t.co/RHHTJoxSLv
— Willam (@willam) March 5, 2018
Peppermint also credited trans women with crafting the art of drag and asked for inclusion when it comes to people’s ideas of drag.
“Trans women and women, have always been directly and indirectly contributing to the art form of drag,” she wrote. “Like voting, driving, working, even eventually the Office of President of United States, drag evolves. My hope is that together, we can uplift all forms of drag, both on TV, and in the real world.”
Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images