The hilarious and entertaining reality show Rupaul’s Drag Race served up the T’s and has given us “Condragulations”, “Fishy and Shady” and “Reading is Fundamental”, but can’t serve up the great line “You’ve got She-mail” anymore! ‘She-male’ is listed in GLAAD’s media reference as a term that ‘dehumanize[s] transgender people and should not be used.
Trans activists have criticized the show’s producers in the past weeks for a segment in titled ‘Female or She-male’ where drag queen contestants were asked to identify, whether cropped photos were former drag queen contestants or women. The producers use the term in several soundbites throughout the show, including a ‘You’ve Got She-mail’ announcement to notify contestants of an incoming message from host RuPaul.
RuPaul’s Drag Race has announced it will remove what has been called transphobic language from its programming. Producers of the hit TV show apologize for using the ‘transphobic slur’ and will remove it from all programming. The producers said: ‘We wanted to thank the community for sharing their concerns around a recent segment and the use of the term ‘she-mail’ on Drag Race. Logo has pulled the episode from all of our platforms and that challenge will not appear again. Furthermore, we are removing the ‘You’ve got she-mail’ intro from new episodes of the series. We did not intend to cause any offense, but in retrospect we realize that it was insensitive. We sincerely apologize.’
RuPaul’s Drag Race is the first EVER show to feature an entire cast of drag queens and it got up to season 6 right now and a casting call is already out for season 7. It made us question gender rules dictated to us by our society. Part of drag is breaking down those gender rules. There are many different opinions regarding this subject and I always want to look it from everybody’s point of view. The transgender side that is already struggling to get accepted, the contenders side, who just want to get their face on TV and the producers of Rupaul’s Drag Race side, who want to spice up their show with funny jokes and words. I have followed all seasons and I don’t think the show has ever been disrespectful to trans people. They made fun of everything in our LGBT community and the phrase “You’ve Got She-mail” everybody just saw it as a take-off of America’s Next Top Model with Tyra Banks. Transgender contestants have opened up in the show about who they are and they were greeted with open arms by other contestants and the public.
Two trans former contestants of the show,
Carmen Carrera and Monica Beverly Hillz, also responded to the initial transphobic claims in statements to Huffington Post. Carrera said: “Drag Race should be a little smarter about the terms they use and comprehend the fight for respect trans people are facing every minute of today. They should use their platform to educate their viewers truthfully on all facets of drag performance art”. Monica said using the term was ‘not cute at all’ and ‘people don’t understand the daily struggle it is to be a transgender woman’.
Off course nobody wants to see somebody feels hurt or belittled, but this was no hate speech. If we let this battle go on, than many words on the show like “Sissy That Walk” maybe have to go too. This maybe opens the flood gates, which we certainly don’t want. We all go through trials and tribulations being included in the LGBTQ group. After all, didn’t we just take ownership of the word ‘Queer’ not too long ago? I understand the feelings of those it has offended as well as all of us in the LGBTQ community, but “She-Mail” should not offend anybody. The term was used for Drag Queens for crying out loud. This is not a victory for transgender rights. I believe they already should had those rights.
We should not start being DAMN Political on everything we do and are against each other, because it sets the example to all those against us that we are just as bad as they in their minds think we are!!! Shame on all of US, if we allow this!!! I embrace all of our gayness and all forms of it. It is a shame after these many years, we still are the ones who allow WORDS to hurt us. I support gays , trans , lesbians, bears, bisexuals and all that we are. That’s why I started my blog/website Pink In Our Lives and I find that Drag Race is and has been a way to see gay, drag and transgender in a good light and to open up a door that was closed for so long.
Like singer/songwriter Lady J tweeted: “As an artist, I love language, and I cherish free speech. RuPaul has been the number-one defender of these, and at the same time he continues to support every shade of queerness within our community, no matter the class. Drag is punk and should never be subjected to politically correct ideals. The moment it stops provoking is the moment it fails as an art form. Trans people are forever indebted to drag for the mainstream explosion of gender as we see it today”.
Let us just embrace RuPaul’s trailblazing work for queer expression and acceptance. We in the LGBTQ community should feel comfortable expressing ourselves, comfortable breaking down norms. I understand the action taken by the producers to remove that soundbite, but please let us just enjoy it all, because in the end we are all watching the show and love RuPaul and their queens. “She-mail” is just a play ,and an obvious one, on the word email as a Mail for She. It’s just a word Huntys, so don’t go back to the dark ages my Queens. See it as joke, because otherwise maybe the term “Junk mail” should be erased too, when all the guys with their heavy junk in their trunk feel offended, that they are stigmatized by it. Do I hear a call out for the Pitcrew ;o)
Have a pink day! XOXO Lesley