RuPaul appears to be embracing transgender inclusivity for the upcoming fourth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, after coming beneath hearth earlier this 12 months for his feedback in opposition to trans contestants.
On Friday, the crop of 10 new contestants who will likely be vying for the title of America’s Subsequent Drag Celebrity have been lastly unveiled, together with fan favorites like Monét X Change, Naomi Smalls, Valentina, and Gia Gunn.
Gunn appeared within the present’s sixth season, after which she got here out as trans and commenced hormone substitute remedy.
Her inclusion alerts a change for the favored drag present, after its creator, RuPaul, informed the Guardian in March that he would “most likely not” enable a transitioning transgender lady to compete.
“You may determine as a girl and say you’re transitioning, but it surely modifications when you begin altering your physique,” RuPaul informed the outlet. “It takes on a special factor; it modifications the entire idea of what we’re doing.”
In the identical interview, RuPaul famous that Peppermint, a queen who appeared on Drag Race Season 9, did determine as a girl whereas competing within the present, however argued she hadn’t “actually transitioned” as a result of she didn’t have breast implants.
Response to his feedback was robust, with a number of former contestants calling him out on what they stated have been anti-trans views. Others stated his feedback erased a long time of trans drag historical past.
Gunn weighed in on the controversy in a YouTube video this March.
“Does this imply as a trans lady I’ll not be thought of for future seasons of All Stars?” Gunn requested.
“I respect that that is RuPaul’s determination, however on the finish of the day I don’t really feel that my transness has something to do with me as an artist,” Gunn stated. “Should you’re a fierce queen and also you deliver it to the runway you ought to be accepted as one and nothing extra and nothing much less.”
Amid mounting criticism, RuPaul issued an announcement on Twitter about his feedback.
“Within the 10 years we’ve been casting Drag Race, the one factor we’ve ever screened for is charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and expertise. And that may by no means change,” he stated.
On Instagram on Friday, Gunn celebrated her inclusion within the present, with out mentioning her id.
“four years in the past a door had opened for me unexpectedly, due to that I then was blessed to have the ability to uncover my genuine fact with out forgetting the place I come from!” she wrote. “I’m so excited and grateful to now be sharing this subsequent chapter in my life not solely in my true pores and skin but additionally with ALL OF YOUNow, who’s prepared for me to indicate these boys who the REAL queen is?!”
All Stars Season four is premiering Dec. 14 at eight p.m. on VH1.
Representatives for RuPaul and VH1 didn’t instantly reply to BuzzFeed Information’ requests for remark.