RuPaul apologized for saying he would “probably not” allow a man who transitioned into a woman onto his hit competition show “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
In an interview with The Guardian, RuPaul, whose birth name is RuPaul Andre Charles, was asked if he would accept a contestant on his show who had begun transitioning.
“Probably not," RuPaul answered.”You can identify as a woman and say you’re transitioning, but it changes once you start changing your body. It takes on a different thing; it changes the whole concept of what we’re doing. We’ve had some girls who’ve had some injections in the face and maybe a little bit in the butt here and there, but they haven’t transitioned.”
In Season 9, Peppermint, the reality show’s first transgender woman, was allowed to compete in the series. When asked about his decision of allowing Peppermint, RuPaul explained the contestant did not transition until after the show.
“Mmmm. It’s an interesting area. Peppermint didn’t get breast implants until after she left our show; she was identifying as a woman, but she hadn’t really transitioned,” RuPaul told The Guardian.
The host’s comments came under fire from members of the LGBTQ community including past contestants.
Season 9 winner Sasha Velour tweeted, “My drag was born in a community full of trans women, trans men, and gender non-conforming folks doing drag. That’s the real world of drag, like it or not. I think it’s fabulous and I will fight my entire life to protect and uplift it.”
Bendelacreme, a former contestant, tweeted, “My partner of almost three years is trans, and bendelachrist help anyone who tries to tell him what he can and can’t do. Just sayin."
RuPaul apologized Monday for the comments stating he “understands and regrets the hurt I have caused.”
“The trans community are heroes of our shared LGBTQ movement. You are my teachers,” RuPaul tweeted.
In a following tweet, he said, “In the 10 years we’ve been casting Drag Race, the only thing we’ve ever screened for is charisma uniqueness nerve and talent. And that will never change.”