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Gia Gunn will be the first transitioning contestant on ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race.’
RuPaul’s highly criticized feelings on transgender inclusivity on his show have apparently sashayed away; season four of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars just announced its line-up of all time favorites who will compete to win the hearts of America, including trans woman Gia Gunn.
Gunn appeared on the sixth season and revealed at the time she was trans and was taking hormone replacement therapy.
In a March interview with the Guardian, RuPaul made remarks that upset many former contestants and fans, including Gunn. When asked if he’d allow a transgender woman who had undergone gender affirmation surgery on the show he said, “probably not.”
“You can identify as a woman and say you’re transitioning, but it changes once you start changing your body,” he said. “It takes on a different thing; it changes the whole concept of what we’re doing.”
Social media backlash came fast.
Gunn responded by tweeting, “If you are a fierce artist, your [sic] a fierce artist & should be judged based on your art. NOT your gender identity!”
Although I do feel the separation from being a drag queen and now a trans woman, there should not be any reason to be “not accepted” when it comes to the art of drag. If you are a fierce artist, your a fierce artist & should be judged based on your art. NOT your gender identity!
— Gia Gunn (@GiaGunn) March 5, 2018
She also addressed the comments on her YouTube channel asking, “Does this mean as a trans woman I will no longer be considered for future seasons of All Stars?”
At first, RuPaul defended himself on Twitter writing, “You can take performance enhancing drugs and still be an athlete, just not in the Olympics.”
You can take performance enhancing drugs and still be an athlete, just not in the Olympics. pic.twitter.com/HkJjzXzUGm
— RuPaul (@RuPaul) March 5, 2018
The response was harsh and he quickly changed his shady tune.
“Each morning I pray to set aside everything I THINK I know, so I may have an open mind and a new experience,” he wrote the same day. “I understand and regret the hurt I have caused. The trans community are heroes of our shared LGBTQ movement. You are my teachers.”
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. The trans community are heroes of our shared LGBTQ movement. You are my teachers. pic.twitter.com/80Qi2halN2
— RuPaul (@RuPaul) March 5, 2018
“I am so excited and thankful to now be sharing this next chapter in my life not only in my true skin but also with ALL OF YOU. Now, who’s ready for me to show these boys who the REAL queen is,” she wrote on Friday.
RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4 premieres Dec. 14 on VH1.
The fierce line-up includes Farrah Moan, Valentina, Monet X change and Naomi Smalls.
Elizabeth VanMetre is a reporter based in Wyoming. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School, and her work has appeared on ETOnline, the New York Daily News, Yahoo Travel, and more. She hosts a local morning show in Wyoming.