RuPaul Sticks His Foot In His Mouth Once Again

RuPaul stuck his foot in his mouth once again as reported at planetransgender:

Transsexuals Are The Same As Drag Queens Before $25,000 Surgery: RuPaul

Well the short answer is: No.

Transsexuals aren’t the same as drag queens, nor are they sort of the same as heterosexual transvestites, aka cross-dressers aka heterosexual drag queens.

Further if you get past the homogenizing idea of transgender as umbrella neither are transgender people.

I don’t have a problem with drag queens.  I lost a number of friends to AIDS who were drag queens in the sense they were performers at clubs in LA or involved in the Imperial Courts and the pageants.  Many were actual transgender and a few were transsexual.

Unlike RuPaul they were committed to living their lives as women even though they earned their livings performing as drag queens in shows that stereotyped our lives for the amusement of both trans and non-trans audience members.

RuPaul on the other hand shares a rarefied position in the entertainment world with Tyler Perry.  Drag Queen for the straight folks.

I have long had a problem with the idea of there being “One Trans-Community” singing Kumbaya under the happy “Transgender Umbrella” all speaking perfectly identical lines from Purple Book of Transgender Ideology.

I’ve known way too many smart mouth TS/TG boys and girls/men and women over the years to think that one would ever fucking fly.

Our office was in the Tenderloin of SF circa 1971-1973.

We didn’t deal in fancy post-modern doctoral level euphemisms we used the same street language our other sisters used.

Drag queens, TG/TS sisters honed reading each other to a fine art.  With “Paris is Burning” I learned about “throwing shade” a refinement of reading someone.

A lot of people in the “Transgender Community” get really upset when a drag queen says something rather insulting to transsexual women.

But they rarely get all pissy when a heterosexual cross-dresser says the same thing.

Or for that matter when a noted TG blogger launches into an attack on all post-op TS women with their inverted penises and vanilla scented man made coochies.

We’ve wasted nearly forty years on the idea of “community”.

There isn’t a “Transgender Community” or even a “Trans-Community.”

We don’t even have one thing in common much less the many things that actually make “A Community.”

I grew up in the “Once Upon A Time, world that was long ago and far away.  Small rural mill town America.  It was a time and place where we actual had something that was an organic community.

It was a diverse community even though it had so few people of color as to be a white community.  It was half second and third generation immigrant Americans, many of whom were East European.

We shared schools even if we went to different churches.

Went to the parades and high school football and basketball games.

We were tied together by location.

Now people rarely speak with their neighbors, rarely go to collective events.

We are all “rugged individualists.”

Instead of communities of neighbors we have “identity based communities”.

Except identity means an adherence to an ideology, something that is next too impossible to obtain within a diverse group.

Now I’m not about to argue for drag queens being considered part of a stigmatized minority group that shares similar political needs.

I will go so far as to say that many of the people involved in both the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot and Stonewall were actually drag queens and not TS or TG.

In addition many of the people who are memorialized each November with the Day of Remembrance are probably drag queen sex workers.

Mostly though I have noticed how the so called community is actual divided into a number of cliques, all of whom seem to think their experiences and their sared experiences with other members in their particular trans-clique gives them the knowledge and the right to speak for everyone else in this diverse collective.

It doesn’t.

It just leads to constant in-group fighting that keeps us from uniting and achieving anything.

RuPaul should shut the fuck up about transsexuals.  RuPaul is as clueless as to what makes us tick as a straight man.

In the mean time I can treat RuPaul with respect including using the pronoun appropriate for presentation at the moment.  I’ve used he in this piece because the picture accompaning the article shows RuPaul in male drag.

I do not expect deep political analysis from RuPaul.  RuPaul is a performer not a political activist.

By the same token RuPaul doesn’t represent the drag queens who are so marginalized they do sex work and wind up martyred.

We don’t have to all be of one mind to form political coalitions that work for shared goals.  Hell we don’t have to even have dinner together or much like people of the other groups.

All we have to do is respect others even if we don’t feel the same as they do or have any clue as to why they do what they do.

All we have to do is realize we are an accidental political interest bloc, a minority group that exists because the dominant culture lumps us all together.

We aren’t going to achieve the goals of rights and respect by stepping on each other.  But we might if we stop tearing other groups down.

End of lecture.

Do your part and go vote.  For a Democrat.

6 Responses to “RuPaul Sticks His Foot In His Mouth Once Again”

  1. Jessica Sideways Says:

    Yeah, I would say that the idea of there being a “trans*” community outside of rare instances is just that – an idea. Here in Denver, the trans* establishment has effectively set themselves up so that any voice that disagrees with their own narrative is silenced and ostracized.

    Oh and the idea of neighbourhoods where you know your neighbours is not just an idea anymore. Check out the Cohousing movement if you’re interested.

    • Suzan Says:

      I’ve made my peace with many trans-leaders by pointing out that if gender queers, bois, two-spirit folks and a myriad of others are able to claim their own label then I should bloody well be able to use terms like transsexual and post-transsexual or WBT to describe myself.

      Further my using a label I feel comfortable with doesn’t mean I won’t work on the same political cause you are working on.

  2. elizabeth1945 Says:

    You still believe Transgender does not include transvestites and crossdressers?

    • Suzan Says:

      Transgender includes transgender, bois are bois, gender-queers are gender-queer, transsexuals are transsexual and transvestites/cross-dressers/drag queens are transvestites/cross-dressers/drag queens.

      There is no transgender community. There are a bunch of different communities that have a hard time even getting together to support issues that would benefit all.

      There isn’t even a monolithic transsexual community much less an all encompassing “Transgender Umbrella”.

      The idea that that sort of community ever existed is as much of a myth as the Biblical version of creation

  3. princesadelayla Says:

    Very well said. xxxx

  4. Food for Thought « ENDABlog 2.0 Says:

    […] I actually like the Reader’s Digest version of Suzan Cooke’s response: […]


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