Whenever we post any story about American rapper Cardi B, we always get commenters asking why we’re covering someone who is so transphobic. But is Cardi B transphobic? We took a closer look into where this claim comes from and whether it holds water.
Apparently, the claim really stems from a 2017 video (below) in which Cardi B says she’d get revenge on a cheating boyfriend by tricking him into getting drunk and having a threesome with a “tranny.”
This video is why people call Cardi B transphobic:
(cw: transphobia) um yeah so i'm jus seeing this now but the video is worse pic.twitter.com/q7RsqAaZk6
— ⍤ (@Igbtxmen) August 9, 2017
In the 30-second video, Cardi B says:
Yo, if a nigga cheat on me, I’mma be that guy. I’mma take him out. We gonna get drunk. I’mma get him all perked up and everything. We gonna have a good time, get him super twisted, then bring a bitch around. We gonna have a threesome, and when he wake up, he gonna be like, ‘What the fuck?!?’ Yeah, because the bitch was a tranny. I’mma be like, ‘Yup, yeah, we had a threesome with a tranny. Yup, yup a tranny sucked your dick.’ You ain’t gotta fuck another nigga to get even, bitch. There’s other ways to get even, y,know?
Her comments offended and disappointed fans who began calling her transphobic. While some people said that she can’t be transphobic because she expresses interest in sleeping with a trans person, that’s like saying that a someone can’t be racist because they want to sleep with black people. Lots of slave owners slept with black people, and believe us: They were racist.
Cardi B later issued an explanation for her use of the anti-trans slur in a Jan. 20, 2018 video (below).
In the video, Cardi B said:
Like, I don’t get it. What is the point of you like, trying to argue and not educate? … Like, I keep getting called ‘transphobic’ because, like two years ago, I used the word ‘tranny.’ … I didn’t know that was a word that you cannot use, especially because my trans friends use it. And as growing up, my parents never told me that that was a bad word. Y’know, there’s bad words that your parents teach you that you’re not supposed to say. Nobody taught us that. Nobody taught us that in our school…. They never taught me that, so how am I supposed to know?
She basically says that instead of labelling her as a transphobe, people should educate her and tell her that she’s not supposed to use that word.
She reiterates her openness to others by saying, “To tell the truth, I don’t give a fuck what you do … Who am I to judge somebody or care about what somebody do when I’m a fucking freak bitch?”
Later on, she says that her one-time boyfriend, rapper Offset of Migos, was unfairly called homophobic for his lyric which stated, “I cannot vibe with queers.” Similarly, she claims that he thought didn’t know ‘queers’ was a derogatory word for gay people. Offset claimed that he thought the word simply meant “odd” or “strange.”
Even though that last claim stretches incredulity (especially with Migos’s homophobic history), it doesn’t really matter. Even without her use of the word “tranny”, treating trans women like a trick to emasculate a man is a dangerous trope that contributes to the stereotype that trans women are deceptive and that any man who sleeps with one should be humiliated. After all, trans women are murdered due to this hateful view.
In her explanation video, Cardi B also mentions that her sister is a lesbian, but yet again, this should provide no cover.
In short, while Cardi B obviously knows better now than to repeat trans slurs in the future, it’s her characterization of trans women as deceptive that’s most offensive of all. It may have been a trash-talking joke, but it’s a gross one that she’s never apologized for.