Aug Sept 2016
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WATCH: RuPaul Defines 'Drag' vs. 'Transgender'

RuPaul

RuPaul is giving an LGBT vocabulary lesson to a mainstream audience.

The RuPaul's Drag Race host offered definitions of "drag" and "transgender" on Fox's The Real, explaining that the differences are linked to "identity."

"One of the biggest misconceptions is that drag and transgender are one of the same," said host Jeannie Mai. "Can you explain to us why are they different?"

"Well, drag is really making fun of identity," said the world's most famous drag queen. "We are shape-shifters. We’re like, 'OK, today, I’m this. Now, I’m a cowboy. Now, I’m this.' That’s what drag is about."

"Transgender [people] take identity very, very seriously," RuPaul continued, "in that their identity is who they are."

"But you know, I come from the school of you know, I’ll do whatever I want to do at any time and change and whatever," he concluded on the episode, which will air Wednesday.

RuPaul's Drag Race, which will begin its eighth season March 7, incited controversy in 2014 for the use of transphobic language, particularly for a skit that asked contestants to differentiate between "female" and "shemale."  

The debate over whether or not words like "tranny" were offensive and in what context and communities they should be used, resulted in public criticism from past contestants who are transgender, including Carmen Carrera and Monica Beverly Hillz. In response, RuPaul defended the usage, stating, "I love the word 'tranny.'"

The blowback eventually led to an apology from producers and the removal of this language from a popular segment of the show titled "You've Got Shemail."

Watch the clip from The Real below.

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