Divine Grace’s Drag Race Trans Mission: Taking on The “Tranny” Controversy

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Divine Grace

Authoress, actress, activist, and asshole Divine Grace has been entertaining crowds with her scathing humor and poignant heart-tugging across the country for more than 20 years. She can currently be found writing hilarious new obscenities, chanting obscenities at a rally, or screaming obscenities onstage while fulfilling an hour of her court-appointed community service. She is currently unable to appear anywhere within a 100 yard distance of Tyson Beckford.

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“Divine Grace’s Drag Race Trans Mission”

Please allow me to preface this article by saying that if you are easily offended, you should probably refrain from reading it. I tend to use words such as fart, sh!t, assh*le, f*ck, fa**got, and (yes) tranny will be used in the space below. I’ll do my best to bleep a single f*cking letter to abide by the social media standards that are okay with photographs of mutilated animals and aborted fetuses, but a four letter word is just pushing it too far. If any of these words bother you, perhaps you can return to watching basic cable where 88 people can have their heads decapitated in one scene as blood ejects from their necks with the ferocity of a Las Vegas Bellagio fountain, but the word “f*ck” is still bleeped out to protect viewers with more sensitive inclinations.

What is it about “RuPaul’s Drag Race” that renders people unable push one button on their clickers? Why is it easier to fill every Facebook thread and blog to overflowing with complaints than it is to simply change the channel? There’s a lot of talk about entitlement being thrown around, but the very definition of entitlement is asking everybody to change their programming rather than lifting a solitary f*cking index finger and applying pressure to a remote control.

RuPaul, a black drag queen who identifies as queer, (so, no stranger to being a minority) referred to a bunch of gay men dressed as women as “trannies” and used a pun of “She-Mail”. Suddenly, certain members of the trans population took that word and fashioned it into a prison shank to stab their drag sisters in the back with.

When vaguely-Latin“Bachelor” contestant Juan Pablo Galavis referred to homosexuals as perverts, where was this trans population’s cries of complaint? Perhaps they don’t realize that the majority of heterosexual America doesn’t know the difference between transgender and homosexual people. But, no! RuPaul is the real villain here. Now we are subjected to what is jokingly being referred to as “Trannygate”. (Um, this is a pun comparing this debacle to Nixon’s “Watergate” scandal, so please spare me the hate mail about how trans people are being diminished by suggesting that they are nothing more than a hinged barrier used to close an opening. )

Unless maybe I am.

RuPaul has used “She-Mail” and “tranny” harmlessly for six years without a complaint from anybody. Most especially the unknown contestants who now identify as trans (but are featured in footage of the show in which they giggle and laugh at these very comments when the possibility of winning a cash prize was on the line.) Considering that no objections came until these contestants lost, the whole thing smacks of hypocrisy and reeks of sour grapes. It’s also incredibly ungateful as the only reason that these losing contestants even have a platform to speak on or careers of their caliber is strictly because of the show they are bemoaning.

Well, I’m going to go ahead and use the T-Word here:

“TRAITOR”.

And where was all of this heat for five and a half seasons when Creativity, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent, the combination C*nt/honey “hunty” “bitch”, and “Miss Thing” (which could literally objectify a woman) was being thrown around? They had no problems with any of these words that have been used to belittle and degrade genetic women and gay men in the past before they were reclaimed. For some reason “words are just words” when a person’s femininity is compared to a vagina so rank that it smells like fish. But She-MAIL? Really? “She-MAIL” was obviously a pun on AOL’s “You’ve got mail” (and they knew that as well as anybody else) but THAT’S what got their knickers in a twist?

Okay. Got it!”She-MAIL”= bad. “C*nt”= good. Well, I’m glad to hear it, because I’m using both words with increasing regularity nowadays.

There has been a lot of talk from the offended parties that drag queens shouldn’t even be a part of the movement for the advancement of transgender individuals. They may actually have a point there.”LGBT” represents “Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender”. Lesbian, Gay, and Bi-Sexual are all classifications of sexuality. Transgender is NOT a sexuality. You can be (and often are) trans and heterosexual.

So why do trans-folk and drag queens go hand-in-hand? For the same reason that we’ve been fighting this fight side-by-side from the beginning: Most people do not know the difference between us! Yes, I have been called a tranny by some hetero as he kicked my face in (you trans folk haven’t exactly cornered the market on that, by the way!) I have also been called “girl” while sobbing and collecting my teeth from the pavement. Are we going to outlaw that word now too? Do I get to tell women they are homophobic or mismanaging their cis-feminine privilege when they use a word that has been used against me?

I have also been called “tranny” by muscle-bound gay men in Baby Gap tee-shirts rolling their eyes at me over the sugar-rimmed lip of a lemon drop. Up until “RuPaul’s Drag Race” I spent at least 15 years being turned away from gay bars because I was in drag, so spare me the “white cis-male priviledge” bullsh!t. I’ve spent fucking DECADES living like a tranny. I own it. It’s miiiiine.

This idea that my privileged life is somehow a cakewalk because I can just wipe my face off and blend into the rest of the crowd is total crap as well. First off, if any of these b!tches had seen the size of the furnace rooms and corners of kitchens that are refered to as “dressing rooms”, they’d know that it’s VERY rare for a drag performer to actually be able to paint face and get into costume in these spaces. But let’s say I could easily come and go from this place dressed as a boy. WHAT THE F*CK MAKES YOU THINK I DON’T GET SH!T? My privileged ass has been clocked as gay, trans, and everything inbewteen since I was in elementary school. I actually get LESS sh!t from homophobes while IN drag because my look is kind of dangerous. If you aren’t passing either, then maybe it’s time to follow my lead and start wearing spiked jackets, chains, and painting your mug like a Cherokee Disney witch!

And you wanna’ know who else called me “tranny”? Members of the local Trans organization who came to my shows and stopped me after each one to tell me that I wasn’t being true to who I really am. THEY decided who I should be, just as some in the trans community are trying to now. Your measuring tapes aren’t long enough for me, honey. NONE of you get to tell me who I am, what level of tranny I declare myself, or what I feel about anything. I’m a grown-assed tranny. I wipe my own ass.

Another common argument is to Google the word “tranny” and take notice of how often it’s applied to transsexual sex workers. Well, you know what? Transsexual sex workers are people TOO! (Despite how often their trans sisters suggest they are not.) And to have the audacity to complain about how you are viewed in a diminished way while looking down your noses at those in your own community is cheap. They’re simply throwing sex workers under the bus because it’s easier than explaining their plight to the kids at the “Big Girl” table they’re so desperate to sit at. The irony isn’t lost on me that the complaint of transsexual sex workers being a stereotype is often coming from trans activists in need of a shave.

Furthermore, a huge portion of these trans laptop activists seem to forget that the trannies they are complaining about ARE THE VERY PEOPLE WHO HAVE PAVED THE WAY, ALLOWING THEIR OPINIONS TO BE HEARD WITHOUT DISMISSAL IN THE FIRST PLACE! This current crop of trans activist would have the world believe that they are the voice of the population, but that is, quite frankly, a bold-faced lie. These are our children who have gotten too damned big for their britches if they think that they can tell ANY of us what we may and may not call or refer to ourselves as. Whether they like it or not, we’re their damned mothers.

The bottom line is this:

I am NOT advocating the use of any of these words to hurt or demean or belittle. What I AM advocating is the right to reclaim these words by those who see it fit do so. Can these words be construed as “tacky”? Okay, but my tackiness is not yours to take, either. During this debate, I have heard a lot of, “So, I suppose it’s alright to call you a f*ggot?” My response is, “YES! By all means, call me a f*ggot. Even in anger. It just makes you familiar or tacky, and my own glass house can’t weather any pitching of stones. I am not what you so I am. I am what I say I am. The problem here is that some trans people don’t like the fact that others have claimed this word as our own. And the truth of the matter is that we did so long before the word “transgender” was even created. It is MINE to reclaim! Try telling Lil’ Kim and 50 Cent what hateful words they cannot reclaim, and let me know how that works out for you.

There is an entire legion of people who all I will ever be to them is a “n!gger-lovin’ f*ggot”, and I honestly don’t have the care or bother to expend on these motherf*ckers’ duel prejudices. I move on towards my own happiness that hasn’t been forged by other peoples’ opinions of what I am.

I suggest you all do the same.

On a lighter note, I’d like to share something writer, hand model, and television personality Mike Diamond had to say:

“Certainly, words have power; witness the recent controversy of the use of the term ‘she male’ on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Personally I think a bigger scandal was the 2 gals from Season 4 being forced to lip synch for their lives to a really bad Wynonna Judd song. Ooh girl, no!

I do understand transwomen being upset about this, although I am not in favor of the language police, and I hardly think RuPaul is transphobic. Language evolves, especially Gay Slang; does anyone still say things like ‘Honey, you are a caution!’? Homosexuals have been known by such various terms as sister boy, invert, and pillow biter, but now are simply known as personal shoppers and power bottoms. I think of myself as a ‘me-male’, ‘homosensual’ or ‘post gay’; in a pinch just call me ‘that Joan Crawford fanatic who once made an embarrassingly sloppy attempt to seduce his neighbor’s straight male husband’. (Note to self: fluffy poodle bedroom slippers do not say ‘take a walk on the wild side’). Let’s not have all this LGBTQ infighting, and focus our attention on our real enemies; the insane bible thumpers, the corporate monsters, the shady politicians”. -Mike Diamond

In closing, the real problem here is the amount of attention this is getting. All day every day, there is a horde of heterosexuals of every race, color, creed, religion, and nationality actively and insidiously working to prevent, retard, stunt, and remove trans rights and civil liberties. If as much energy was expended on this as there is on what a drag queen said to a bunch of crossdressers during a drag show on a gay cable network, maybe then we’d all be getting somewhere.

People are only what they answer to. I answer to “tranny”. Do you? If you do not, then I hardly see what the problem is.

By Divine Grace (With contribution from Mike Diamond)

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Divine Grace

Authoress, actress, activist, and asshole Divine Grace has been entertaining crowds with her scathing humor and poignant heart-tugging across the country for more than 20 years. She can currently be found writing hilarious new obscenities, chanting obscenities at a rally, or screaming obscenities onstage while fulfilling an hour of her court-appointed community service. She is currently unable to appear anywhere within a 100 yard distance of Tyson Beckford.
avatar

Authoress, actress, activist, and asshole Divine Grace has been entertaining crowds with her scathing humor and poignant heart-tugging across the country for more than 20 years. She can currently be found writing hilarious new obscenities, chanting obscenities at a rally, or screaming obscenities onstage while fulfilling an hour of her court-appointed community service. She is currently unable to appear anywhere within a 100 yard distance of Tyson Beckford.

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