Meanwhile, On TumblR: Kimye and RuPaul’s Transmisogyny

By Andrea Plaid

RuPaul Andre Charles. Via peacockandpaisley.com

RuPaul Andre Charles. Via peacockandpaisley.com

Racialicious fave Monica Roberts of TransGriot wrote a scathing critique about RuPaul and his transmisogyny–and how they influenced her to be the renowned activist she is today. The excerpt is the most liked and reblogged one this past week:

RuPaul is a Black gay man, not a transperson, and the trans community is beyond sick and tired of being sick and tired of him being elevated by cis and gay people to some nebulous ‘trans expert’ level..

As a matter of fact, one of the reasons I became a trans activist in 1998 was because of a Transgender Tapestry magazine article in the 90’s that ignorantly considered RuPaul and Dennis Rodman as Black transwomen juxtaposed against other accomplished white trans people despite both Ru and Dennis Rodman emphatically saying they weren’t trans and didn’t want to transition.

It was the epiphany that made me realize just how invisible Black transwomen were in the trans human rights movement and gave me the impetus to get involved and change that dynamic.

Another Racialicious fave, Andreana Clay of QueerBlackFeminist, wrote a beautifully nuanced meditation about Kanye West and Kim Kardashian–a.k.a. Kimye–that the R’s Tumblizens vibed with a lot:

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Via mirror.co.uk.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Via mirror.co.uk.

I don’t really care about these two, really—even though, yes, this is the 20th time Kanye West has been mentioned on this blog—these are not celebrities I’m invested in. So the news of their dating and, recently, her pregnancy, caused little stir. Still, because of my disclosed obsession, I perused Twitter right after the announcement. I wasn’t surprised to find that most of the comments referenced a sex tape (hers with Ray J), whether or not the baby was Kris Humphries, and how Kim really did “let Kanye finish.” I get it, she’s an easy target, as one twitter line argued “on the one hand the baby will have great hip-hop genes and on the other—nope, nothing.” However, I have to admit I was a bit shocked when someone posted a screen shot from the sex tape, showing Kardashian giving Ray J, who was only identified by his penis (for lack of a better phrase) a blow job. The tag line said, “This is who your mother was before she had you. BTW, this is not your father.”

“Ouch” doesn’t even begin to address how painful that felt.

I felt for Kardashian. I did. I felt for my parents, and for all of the ways that many interracial relationships between white people and people of color are read in this culture. That the women are whores. That the men are lost. Sounds extreme, maybe. And I know that it’s not like this in every single case, that not everyone has these feelings (immediately), etc. But, let’s not pretend that the brutality of racism and white/nonwhite relationships don’t shape the consumption of these relationships in popular culture (and everyday life) and that it doesn’t shape our hopes and dreams about a “postracial” future.

Check out who else folks are feeling on the R’s Tumblr!