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RuPaul apologizes for saying transgender people are not welcome on ‘Drag Race’

“I understand and regret the hurt I have caused,” the reality-TV host tweets.

RuPaul on Sunday, March 4, 2018.

RuPaul on Sunday, March 4, 2018. Photo Credit: AP / Invision / Evan Agostini

Drag queen and two-time Emmy Award-winner RuPaul has apologized for comments about transgender contestants being unwelcome on his VH1 reality-TV series “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

“Each morning I pray to set aside everything I THINK I know, so I may have an open mind and a new experience,” the drag legend, 57, tweeted, following his remarks over the weekend in the UK newspaper The Guardian. “I understand and regret the hurt I have caused. The trans community are heroes of our shared LGBTQ movement. You are my teachers.”

In an immediate second tweet, he added, “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.”

RuPaul, born RuPaul Andre Charles, currently hosts season 3 of his show’s all-star edition, the 13th season overall. He had told the British paper, in reference to biological women who perform using the exaggerated feminine iconography of drag, that, “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 real rejection of masculinity.”

When then asked how a transgender woman — such as season 9 runner-up Peppermint, né Kevin Moore and now Agnes Moore — could be a drag queen, RuPaul responded, “Mmmm. It’s an interesting area. Peppermint didn’t get breast implants until after she left our show; she was identifying as a woman, but she hadn’t really transitioned.”

Pressed as to whether he would allow fully transgender contestants, he said, “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.”

Peppermint has not commented explicitly on social media, but after the article’s publication posted a tweet of four emoticons: one confounded, one dismayed, one resigned, and the last with zipped lips. BenDeLaCreme, né Benjamin Putnam, an all-star contestant this season, tweeted, “My partner of almost three years is trans, and #bendelachrist help anyone who tries to tell him what he can and can’t do. Just sayin.’ ”

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