Before you start, we’re not pinning them against each other. This is simply a look at how the two compare and contrast and the expressed opinions of some of the community. Now, hopefully the panties are unbunched and we can move on…
Recently I sat down with a very good friend who happens to be a drag queen (one of the most beautiful in the world) and we had a frank conversation
about drag queens and the trans community. During this mostly one sided conversation (I tend to quiet down when I don’t have any experience in the topic and want to learn) my friend talked about how drag queens should be more compassionate toward trans women and people in general. What trans conversation lately doesn’t include Caitlynn Jenner, so obviously, this was included but not in the manner most would think.
It seems there is a great divide within the LGBTQ (sorry if I missed some other letters that belong in there) community. Those who are angry that Caitlynn Jenner isn’t following the “rules” of her own community by being a republican or not being gay sympathetic enough and those who feel like she’s new to this and has a lot to learn and doesn’t see herself as the advocate for the trans community the media seems to be making of her.
Before Caitlynn was highly recognized for the trans woman she’s become, Bruce Jenner made the first media frenzy by breaking the world record for the number of points earned in the 1976 Olympics for the decathlon. Based on his previous performance in 1972, he was not favorited and overcame remarkable criticism to “make them eat it” in ’76.
When he re-appeared in the reality series that has taken over the world, Keeping Up With The Kardashians he wasn’t the main staple, but definitely gave some insight as to a day in the life of Bruce Jenner, beloved step-father of Courtney, Chloe, Robert and of course, Kim Kardashian and husband to their mother Kris. We got a look into Bruce’s children from his first two marriages, more so the second with Brody and Brandon appearing occasionally. And their shared children model Kendall and her younger sister Kylie, who’s making her own mark through social media and various publicity “stunts.”
Clearly Bruce Jenner is no stranger to the public eye and as a result should expect nothing less of what he was about to do. When Bruce revealed Caitlynn the world gasped a bit. It seemed like everyone took polar opposite views. In watching the reality show Caitlynn made, she stated she didn’t see herself as an advocate for the trans community, but an advocate for herself and her own personal journey. How she got from her own journey to everyone’s journey is simple, the media circus arose and to keep people engaged, there would be a number of stories about her political party, her thoughts on LGBTQ matters and of course the always intriguing, “who are you dating?”
As is true for any person who has a journey to their true self, there is definitely a learning curve. Becoming a part of the community does not mean the exact same views are shared, it means that at least a small part of you belongs somewhere. There really are gay republicans, lesbians who don’t wear flannel and bi-sexuals who never end up gay or straight (so I’ve heard).
The T of the LGBTQ community has placed further into the limelight with the advent of shows like Orange Is The New Black, Transparent, and of course RuPaul’s Drag Race, RuPaul’s Drag Race Untucked, and RuPaul’s Drag U. Shows that have gone beyond gay friendly and introduced beautiful trans women like, Sonique (RPDR Season 2), Monica Beverly Hills (RPDR Season 5), and Laverne Cox (Orange Is The New Black).
Drag has been a part of many of the transgender women and men’s lives almost as commonly as identifying as gay/lesbian or straight, even though gender, drag and sexuality don’t always have to do with each other. Most drag performers do not identify as transgender and transgender people can have differing sexuality from what one might think. While it may all be a little complicated to go into, it’s important to reflect a bit on all of this.
Within the community there is always conflict and turmoil it seems. Someone is too gay, or not gay enough. He acts too feminine, she acts too butch or vice versa. But when it comes down to it, drag and trans from an outsider’s perspective, is the same. And if you’re talking about a trans person to someone who identifies themselves as a “biologically gendered male/female, straight person” “gay” “lesbian” “transgender” “bi-sexual” “pansexual” “queer” and all who identify as not quite that are all the same, different. They don’t necessarily hate us, some even “support the gays” but that’s it. They see the entire group as one. So why don’t we act as one?
Should Drag Queens support Caitlynn for being a transgender woman? Should it be a blanket statement that all “the colors of the rainbow” support one another? If a drag queen changes into “boy drag” at the end of the night, do they have the right to say anything they want about a drag queen who changes into to “girl drag”? Aren’t there drag queens who are transgender? Does everyone have to have the same journey for us to support each other? Do we have to have the same political views to fight for equal rights as human beings? Is it our job to police each other to ensure we all think alike for our “agenda” to work?
At the end of the day, we’re all human, we’re all working at life, we’re all just doing our best in life to reach our goals. Let’s just do our best to be the best and wish the best for those who are kind to us. For those who are not so kind to us, let’s just hope whatever they’re dealing with that’s bringing them to bring us down gets better. As for Drag Queens Galore, tell us what you think.