Trans Vanderpump Rules Star Billie Lee Defends Lisa Vanderpump: 'Our Allies Don't Come Perfect'
Following Lisa Vanderpump’s apology for an insensitive joke about her Real Housewives of Beverly Hills costar Erika Jayne, transgender Vanderpump Rules star Billie Lee says the SUR boss has always been a supportive ally to her.
After Tuesday’s episode of RHOBH, Vanderpump, 58, faced criticism after making a comment implying Jayne is transgender and “tucks” in male genitalia.
“Just don’t ask me if Erika’s tucking it under or something like that, because there are some things I can’t lie about,” Vanderpump said with a laugh.
Lee, who has been a VPR cast member since 2018, said that the RHOBH star “has always supported me and my trans experience.”
“She has one of the biggest heart ever. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my fairy god mother,” she tweeted Wednesday. “Our allies don’t come perfect and it’s our responsibility to educate them.”
Vanderpump apologized for the remark Wednesday.
“It was not my intention to belittle the trans community with my poor choice of words directed toward Erika,” she told Page Six in a statement. “I have nothing but respect and love for trans people around the world, as I have been a staunch supporter, provided employment offered emotional support and championed LGBTQ issues. With recent news of trans women losing their lives for living their authentic truth in a world of discrimination and hate, I never want to diminish the very real pain and struggle that trans people go through every day.”
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Jayne, 47, did not respond on social media, but she did retweet a note from transgender actress and I Am Cait star Candis Cayne.
“Oh come on @lisavanderpump joking about @erikajayne ‘tucking’ Ugly Trans jokes marginalizing our community are not acceptable,” she wrote. “Being an ally doesn’t give you a free pass to make transphobic remarks. Do better.”
As the backlash intensified on social media, some fans even called for a boycott of Vanderpump’s Los Angeles restaurants Sur and Pump.
“After seeing @LisaVanderpump make transphobic remarks in order to make fun of @erikajayne, members of the #LGBTQ community in LA owe it to our trans siblings to show solidarity by boycotting @SurRestaurant and @PumpRestaurant,” one user wrote.
Added another, “@LisaVanderpump did you really just allude to @erikajayne being a trans woman, as a joke insult? How absolutely classless are you? Trans women have been murdered this year, most recently #MuhlaysiaBooker. Their lives are not a joke!”
Booker, a 23-year-old transgender woman, was shot to death in Texas last week, just one month after she was seen being brutally beaten on a cellphone video.
“I genuinely want @LisaVanderpump to explain to me how her ‘joke’ about @erikajayne ‘tucking’ was funny. Really I do. What’s the punchline? See if you can think of a way to explain it without admitting you’re saying it’d be embarrassing for her to be trans or a drag queen,” yet another fan wrote.
RHOBH airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.