How Much Do You Hate Yourself, @RuPaul?

CW: Discussion of slurs, homophobia, and transmisogyny.

“Derogatory slurs are always an outward projection of a person’s own poisonous self-loathing” – RuPaul Charles on Twitter, June 2, 2013 in response to Amanda Bynes using the f-slur.

So I must ask you, how much do you hate yourself to loudly proclaim you love a derogatory slur aimed at trans women and trans feminine people? How much poisonous self-loathing are you harboring to proclaim this on a national level, and repeatedly? For someone who proclaims words don’t hurt you, you seemed to take personal offense when Amanda Bynes said the f-slur. How can you love yourself, when you spew these derogatory slurs from a position of self-loathing? Clearly, RuPaul, you cannot uphold your own catchy phrases.

You tell people to get stronger, that words are just words, but if words are just words, something with no meaning, why are you defending them so vehemently? Let it go. If it has no meaning and no value, you can just simply let it go. Of course, that wouldn’t happen because words have power. They have meaning and strength behind them. They have such power, that queer people rally behind boycotting companies who state anti-gay sentiments. They boycott and speak out against people using homophobic slurs, as you did with Amanda Bynes. However, if trans women do the same, requesting you remove a singular word from your vocabulary, it becomes a problem. These women are suddenly causing the end of the gay community for requesting to not be addressed in slurs, these very women who started the Gay Rights Movement, but have you forgot your mothers of Sylvia Riveria and Marsha P Johnson?

No matter how hard you are trying to erase the meaning of words, you cannot. As was stated on Twitter, “The word “[t-slur]” has never just meant transsexual.” According to you, this is not a word leveraged in hate, vitriol, and dehumanization towards trans women. Interesting how the history of the word only comes to light when it is used to justify its current use, no matter how out of date the definition of the word is. For example, a f-slur is such a cigarette or a bundle of sticks. Right? While it is not incorrect that the origins of the word come from when the word transvestite covered everyone from queens, to trans women, to cross-dressers, as language evolved, the meaning also evolved. As gay once meant happy and now means men who love other men and women who love other women (though mostly gay men), the t-slur has evolved to encompass trans women, trans feminine people, and non-binary CAMAB trans people who experience transmisogyny.

Simply Googling the images and representations of the word proves this evolution. What comes up when this word is searched? Porn site after porn site. Who are the people in these images and videos? It’s certainly not drag queens. It is trans women. Trans women are represented by these words. When people think of the slur, they do not think of a drag queen, they think of trans women or mockeries of them. The fetishization of a group of woman, denying them of their womanhood and othering them into something else. They are not seen as women, but as t-slurs and sh*m*les, removing their identities and their womanhood. But of course, the word has NEVER meant trans women (for the most part).

“No one has ever said the word ‘[t-slur]’ in a derogatory sense” RuPaul has also stated. Another interesting statement, ignoring reality. Who has the word hurled at them during their attacks and their murders? Trans women, especially trans women of color, are the victims of these words. In fact, Monica Beverly Hillz, a recent contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race talked about a recent such attack. She was attacked and had the slur hurled at her by cis gay men for daring to be a trans woman in their space. Carmen Carrera, another trans woman contestant of the show, often has her identity as a woman questioned. She is constantly told she is not a woman, she is a t-slur. In fact, the reason drag queens are so often mistakenly called the t-slur is because they are being mistaken for trans women. It is seen as insulting to be a trans woman. So, tell me again how this word has never been used in a derogatory manner.

I do not know a single trans woman who has not felt that hate and dehumanization that comes with this word. Not a single one. The slur is aimed at these women, for simply walking down the street. They are denied their identities as women. Videos posted on YouTube are filled with comments of “that’s not a woman, that’s a [t-slur]”. Twitter is a flight with people quick to jump in to defend the heterosexuality of any man who dares to find a trans woman attractive, making sure they know that “that’s a [t-slur]”. It’s a word that haunts the every movement of an openly trans woman. In fact, being a trans woman, and thus a t-slur is so negative, cis women are often called it to prove that they are lesser women, or not a woman at all.

So, RuPaul, tell me again how you come from a place of love while proclaiming you love a slur that is used to dehumanize a group of woman. Tell me again how derogatory slurs are an “an outward projection of a person’s own poisonous self-loathing” while proclaiming you absolute love and infatuation with such a word. Tell me again how you ignore the very reality of the word, using the same defense people use to lay claim to derogatory homophobic slurs by meaning of their outdated and no longer used history. Of course, that would mean admitting to the hypocrite you are.

Thus, I ask you, if you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else? Cause clearly, you cannot love yourself with the amount of poisonous self-loathing you possess and it shows with your lack of compassion and empathy for the trans women who are harmed by your justification of slurs that are used to deny them their identities and their lives, every day. Now is as good as time as any to start sucking that poison on out.

Also, there is nothing edgy or counter culture about transmisogyny either. Transmisogyny is not underground, nor is it shocking. It’s the flavor of the day: Drag, Counter Culture, and Transmisogyny


Author: Lucian Clark

Lucian Clark was born and raised in South New Jersey. Recently they published their first novel, a dark romance, titled Cemetery Drive. Their works have been featured across numerous platforms such as The Advocate and in anthologies like Werewolves Versus and Postcards From The Void. They've also been featured on several podcasts to talk about horror, activism, and their writing. With a passion for all things spooky, horrific, and queer, Lucian can often be found on social media talking about werewolves, rats, and My Chemical Romance. When not actively writing or reading, Lucian is also the curator of the queer horror website, GenderTerror, which features original art, stories, interview and more. They can also be found playing video games or with their pets (currently some rats and a cat). They are active in local and national social activism with a focus on LGBTQ+ rights and reproductive justice.

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