Willam Faces Backlash Over Transphobic Comments on “Suck Less” with Courtney Act

· Updated on May 28, 2018

Time for some transgender 101.

In a recent episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race season four star Willam’s online show “Suck Less,” she and season six queen Courtney Act answered a viewer question from a woman who was currently dating a transgender man. The young girl who wrote them a letter is asking what she should do about dating a transgender man who she calls a “butch lesbian” because she’s not sure she’ll derive pleasure from a man without a penis. While Courtney tried to be helpful, Willam’s answers definitely reeked of transphobia.

While Courtney is trying to speak to the girl about dating a trans man, Willam interrupts Courtney to say Brandon Teena’s name. Brandon Teena was a trans man who was brutally raped and murdered in Nebraska in 1993. He was portrayed by Hilary Swank in the film about his life and death, Boys Don’t Cry.

“He bamboozled the girl,” Willam said of Teena. “He was trans, but he could’ve told them.”

Nevermind that Boys Don’t Cry depicts the brutal reality of what it means to be trans and have your gender identity known by the wrong people.

Courtney tries to steer the conversation back to a productive place.

“Sometimes, men have vaginas and sometimes men have penises,” she says to the viewers. “That is a fact of the world that we live in.”

The person who was asking about dating a transgender man was originally concerned about feeling sexual pleasure while dating someone without a penis, and Courtney tries to assuage those fears and says there are many ways for a trans men to pleasure their partners. But she also checks the young girl’s language about her trans beau.

“Saying he’s a butch lesbian is disrespectful,” Courtney continues. “He’s not a butch lesbian. If he identifies as a man, you need to respect his identification.”

After taking a break to critique the young girl’s eyebrows, Willam says, “He’s not your boyfriend if he’s not a boy and he’s not fucking you.”

“He is a boy!” Courtney Act interjects.

“Just because someone says they’re a boy doesn’t make them a boy,” Willam answers.

“Yes it does!” Courtney Act replies. “It’s not up to you to choose how somebody identifies.”

“Yeah, it’s up to how they’re born,” Willam says.

Courtney then goes into a discussion of sex and gender, to which Willam tries to respond with an illogical argument against chromosomes. (Scientific aside, chromosomes are much more complicated than we’re taught in high school science.)

Several people online have already declared their outrage over how Willam conducted herself during the segment.

If there’s anything we can learn here it’s to stand up for transgender people and to stan Courtney Act.


Willam did not immediately reply to INTO’s request for comment.

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