Stars Of Rupaul’s Drag Race Unite On Trans Awareness Day to Promote Porn Site

Phaylen Fairchild
Apr 1, 2018 · 6 min read

I’m extremely disappointed as I write these words. Since I’ve thrown my hat into the ring of “Internet Opinionating” I’ve had so many Trans women reach out to me and express their concern, dissatisfaction or resentment toward Drag Queens. I have tried to encourage these women to see Drag as an art form, not a remark on their image or a mockery of their gender identity. There is a chasm between Drag Queens and Trans Women, and I understand that it exists. When CIS men dress in drag and perform, they represent something that a Trans woman had to fight aggressively to have the courage to do, but suffer tremendous backlash, rejection and humiliation from onlookers. They feel as if Drag Queens who are temporarily inhabiting a female persona are minimizing the very real resistance they face from the opposition- be it a government that is trying to erase the word Transgender; Banning us from the Military, creating irrational bathroom laws that imply we are dangerous to their wives and daughters or redacting protections for students across the nation.

I understand where they are coming from, and I respect that opinion. I don’t agree with it myself, as I have been a performer- in fact, many drag performers are Transgender. Drag is many things; It is social commentary, political activism, expressionist art, comedy, provocative think-pieces- much of it Trans inclusive. It is not intended to minimize or reduce the Trans experience, and I regret that my Trans Sisters ever felt that way. Drag began with us. It was born in the shadows of an oppressive era, where we convened in bars off the beaten path with others who were threatened by the authorities. Drag was more than an excuse to dress up, but it was a showcase of our talents, it was an opportunity to be applauded by our peers instead of dismissed by the social norms. When Drag was illegal, we found a home among our LGB peers. It was not common at the time for CIS males to perform in drag, a marked difference from today’s industry.

Naturally, I have a great many Trans readers and friends who told me what they’d seen and how they felt, and ultimately, the acts of a few meant I was wrong, I had been debunked, I was misleading. I’ve heard it all today.

Here’s what happened. A few high profile drag queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race, which has already had it’s hand to the fire of controversy with the titular host, Rupaul, stating he would never consider a Trans Woman who was transitioning for his show, have widened that chasm between us. On Transgender Day of Visibility, as we’re all posting about our heroes, telling our stories and lifting each other up, Miz Cracker, Monet X-Change, Shea Coulee, Kim Chi, The Vixen and Pearl Liaison partnered up with Nutaku Games, a developer of Trans fetishist, pornographic games that show Trans girls having sex with each other. They advertised a link to a blog post titled; “Nutaku’s Top Inclusive Game Titles for Transgender Day of Visibility.

Considering how grossly inappropriate this is, with many Drag Race fans being younger crowds who can’t get into bars or clubs these stars routinely perform at, I was startled to see so many thought this was an acceptable promotion. To compound that, many of their sister performers and fans identify as Transgender themselves, which made it even more difficult to comprehend why they would opt to portray us in such an exploitative manner. It was disturbing, graphic and dehumanizing. Even worse is how the website portrays Trans women and girls as the stereotypically toxic “Chicks with D*cks” — As it happens, some Trans women suffer from varying degrees of body dysphoria; an anxiety inducing, crippling discomfort with their genitals. These photographic representations bring to the surface their endless struggle with reconciling within themselves that they have the wrong body parts. Your actions have demonstrated a tone deaf response to the realities Trans people live with every day.

Shea Coulee promotes Transgender Anime Porn Site

My Trans sisters in the Hollywood industry struggle to be cast as anything but prostitutes, mistresses or serial killers. The stigma of portraying Trans women as hyper-sexualized, non-human objects with no more capacity to desire love and affection than a blow up doll is very real. It not only damages the morale of young Trans women, but forces us to look at ourselves through the male gaze, which is often sexually derogatory. As we’re being systematically erased and trying to keep out Trans sister of color alive while they’re being murdered in record numbers, the last thing we wanted on Transgender Day of Visibility was to see Drag Queens advocate the exploitation and sexualizing of our identities.

So far, I am happy to say that most of these Drag performers have stepped forward to apologize. While I’m grateful that these colleagues of my own in this industry have acknowledged the misstep in the face of tremendous backlash, I must ask the question: Do you know why you are apologizing? Do you understand the severity of your error and the emotional implications it has had on many of your Transgender fans who are antithetical to what you’ve decided to show the world we are?

Do you know why it’s important to be genuinely apologetic, rather than just do damage control?

From your platform you have an opportunity few will ever have. It is a position of power in which you can shape opinions, influence growth in others and encourage young men and women, no matter how they identify, to love themselves and expect to be respected for who they are. You can show them via your leadership that nothing is holding them back from reaching their potential, and that their gender- or gender identity is not a marker for determining their entitlement to equality, or prosperity.

We lose many young Trans women to the streets. They are rejected by family, friends and displaced. Many turn to sex work in order to provide themselves basic survival. It’s not something they wanted to do. It’s all they had.

While I don’t believe there was ill intent, I would be negligent if I didn’t admit that it was indelibly damaging to the young women who support you, those who clicked that link and saw that content. They believe that’s who you perceive them to be. I hope that you’ve learned a lesson that you can pass down to your future Drag Queen sisters and acknowledge that we are fans, we are watching, cheering you on and wishing for your success. The least you could do is offer the same in kind.

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Phaylen Fairchild

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Comedian, Actor, Opinionator, Filmmaker, Activist. http://twitter.com/phaylen All work copyright deliciousdiamonde@gmail.com