Velour, who is genderqueer, is far from alone. "RuPaul has the responsibility of writing the history of drag and, unfortunately, it's being rewritten and erased because of his antiquated policies," explained
Charlene Incarnate, a trans drag performer who says she auditioned for the show's seventh and eighth seasons. "RuPaul knows better, because the kinds of queens that were around when he was rising up were the kinds whose gender was ambiguous because it didn't matter. By drawing distinctions, he's saying it matters, when the whole point of drag is that it doesn't."
At first, RuPaul
doubled down on his stance, tweeting " You can take performance enhancing drugs and still be an athlete, just not in the Olympics," but soon after, he seemed to concede. " Each morning I pray to set aside everything I THINK I know, so I may have an open mind and a new experience. I understand and regret the hurt I have caused," he later wrote on Twitter. "The trans community are heroes of our shared LGBTQ movement. You are my teachers."
While since then, the show has taken a bit of a more inclusive approach, inviting
Gia Gunn, who came out as a transgender woman after her appearance on the show's sixth season, back to compete on RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars, and now, featuring Gottmik on the show, it still shouldn't have taken this damn long to feature a more diverse cast.
Case and point?
The Boulet Brothers' Dragula, a horror-drag competition series which has consistently featured contestants of all genders since first airing back in 2016.
These people aren't just a part of the queer community, they are , in fact, the queer community," Swanthula Boulet, one of the show's hosts told Los Angeles magazine. "It's easy to fool yourself into thinking that the queer community is made up of fit white men, but the reason you think that is because most bars and clubs cater to, reward, and encourage that kind of crowd. In reality, our community is made up of all sorts of people including trans people, non-binary people, drag queens, sex workers, cis men, lesbians, and everything in between."
Although it's important to note that
Dragula is far from perfect, receiving backlash for its lack of Black queens, Swanthula has a point when it comes to featuring drag performers of all genders. The art of drag is all about playing with the notions of gender, expressing oneself, one's femininity and/or masculinity though makeup, costume, and performance. As cheesy as it sounds, drag is for everyone, no matter who you are.
So Gottmik, congratulations on your historic appearance on the show. Here's to hoping you take the crown (and ofc, that $100,000 check) and set a precedent for more transgender "Ru Girls" to come.
For more 'Drag Race' fangirl content, follow Carly on Instagram @HuntressThompson_ and on Twitter @TennesAnyone .
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