RuPaul “regrets” comments he made in a recent interview about allowing transgender contestants to compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
The host of the hit VH1 reality show, 57, said in a sit-down with The Guardian that trans women who have begun physically transitioning should not be able to compete on the show. On Monday night, he apologized via Twitter.
“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 under an image of a rainbow flag. “I understand and regret the hurt I have caused. The trans community are heroes of our shared LGBTQ movement. You are my teachers.”
He added in a second tweet, “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.”
Despite featuring several transgender contestants on in the past, only season 9’s Peppermint and season 5’s Monica Beverly Hillz came out during their time on the show.
When asked if a woman who had fully transitioned would be able to compete, RuPaul told The Guardian, “Probably not. 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.”
Although he was met with backlash, including from former contestants, the drag queen seemed to double down on his comments when he posted this message on Twitter: “You can take performance enhancing drugs and still be an athlete, just not in the Olympics.”
Earlier in the interview, RuPaul said he didn’t think of drag as “wearing women’s clothes.”
“Women don’t really dress like [drag queens]. We are wearing clothes that are hyperfeminine, that represent our culture’s synthetic idea of femininity,” he said. “Drag loses its sense of danger and its sense of irony once it’s not men doing it, because at its core it’s a social statement and a big f-you to male-dominated culture. So for men to do it, it’s really punk rock, because it’s a real rejection of masculinity.”