The challenge here is that RuPaul has been greeting her contestants with "Ooh, gurl! You've got she-mail!" at the beginning of every episode for six seasons now, so loyal viewers A) don't like change, and B) are asking "What? Why are you bringing this up now?" Personally, I've been waiting for this for a while, but I think the "Female or She-Male" situation takes things a step further. There's no hiding behind an 'e-mail' pun this time. It's just flat-out offensive.
So now, many viewers are in an uproar, complaining about being censored, and often used much more horrifying, transphobic language in the process. For some reason, when it comes to trans issues, many gay folks seem to forget every struggle they've ever dealt with regarding their own sexuality, and fiercely defend their right to use offensive language for the sake of comedy.
I'll be completely honest with you: I love the word "tranny". I love the way it rolls off the tongue and through the teeth. It makes me giggle. If it were a type of car or fruit, I'd say the word all the damn time. Once upon a time I did use it frequently, because I thought of it as more of an abbreviation than a slur. But I stopped, because I realized people were offended by it. People I respect and care about. And do you have any idea how difficult that made my life?
Not at all.
I eliminated it from my vocabulary and it didn't affect my life at all. A small price to pay to retain the respect of thousands of people. So what's your issue? Have you never been called something that offended you? Sissy? Stupid? Ugly? Have you never felt the urge to tell someone "don't call me that?" 'Cuz I'm pretty sure ya did. This is like that. Only more serious.
To the folks who think that eliminating "she-male" from RuPaul's Drag Race: You know what you sound like? You sound just like the Christians who think that marriage equality "takes away their religious freedom." The same 'logic' applies in both scenarios. You're throwing a fit because someone more oppressed than you might be getting rights or respect that you've had for ages. SIT. DOWN.
Thankfully, Logo handled the argument in a mature way, unlike many of their viewers, and removed their insensitive word choices from future episodes. I, for one, am glad to see the change. Do I think RuPaul is transphobic? Certainly not. But if trans folk are feeling hurt by the language, they are within their right to speak up. I'm hoping that this will be a good example for folks to actually take others' feelings into consideration, rather than defend their right to say stupid shit.
Countdown to Top to Bottom 2.0: 4 posts left!