This Trans Activist Calls Out RuPaul for a Failure to Discuss the Importance of TV’s ‘Pose’
In a scathing tweet she admitted herself would get people “hot,” trans activist Ashlee Marie Preston has called out RuPaul for not uttering a word about FX’s hit series Pose. Preston, who made headlines by becoming the first openly trans person to become editor-in-chief of a major publication, called out the failure of a RuPaul Pose mention in a recent tweet:
“The fact that America is raving about Pose on FX Networks and RuPaul hasn’t uttered one word; nor has he let a single thought escape from under that tattered wig — confirms what the trans community already knew,” reads the tweet. “Folks are gonna be hot over this tweet — but a truth is a truth…”
Preston also screenshot her tweet, sharing it to Facebook, where she’s been engaging with commenters — particularly those who swiftly came to RuPaul’s defense — on the RuPaul Pose lack of recognition.
“I’m not going to go through a million comments and explain — so here is the arc of what makes Ru problematic,” Preston says. “RuPaul built an empire off of a sub-culture of the LGBTQ community —established by the trans community and members of the ballroom scene. I could only assume for fear of having to give credit to the rightful pioneers — Ru has went out of the way to deflect from that truth and even discredit the contributions trans people have made. Ru has needed his wig snatched for a long time now. Many of us have tried to have peaceful dialogue and come to Jesus moments. The reality is that Ru co-opted a scene and made it palatable for white gays — called it something different and refuses to acknowledge the rich history of that which he claims to have branded…”
Even the FX series’ co-creator, Steven Canals, has joined the RuPaul Pose conversation, responding Preston’s initial post by commenting on Facebook, “Facts are facts.” Some of the series’ stars, including Indya Moore, “liked” Preston’s initial tweet.
Produced by Ryan Murphy, Pose has been hailed by critics and viewers alike as one of the most inclusive and influential shows of all time. Taking place in the ’80s, Pose follows transgender women of color and gay men who compete in NYC balls. Gracefully the series has tackled issues surrounding racism, transphobia, classism and HIV.
Earlier this year RuPaul came under fire when the drag pioneer said in an interview with The Guardian that he would “probably not” allow trans women to compete on his reality competition show, RuPaul’s Drag Race. His remarks spawned backlash from viewers and even some drag queens, with trans activists leading RuPaul to apologize.
The Emmy-winning host later tweeted, “Each morning I pray to set aside everything I THINK I know, so I may have an open mind and a new experience. I understand and regret the hurt I have caused. The trans community are heroes of our shared LGBTQ movement. You are my teachers….”