Controversial Catch Phrase Revived on Project Runway

In 2007, Project Runway star Christian Siriano popularized and then denounced the catch phrase, "hot tranny mess." Seven years later, another contestant brought it back.

BY Parker Marie Molloy

August 22 2014 12:55 PM ET

Christian Siriano, left,  and Mitchell Perry

On Thursday's episode of Project Runway, contestant Mitchell Perry mentioned one of the show's more controversial catch phrases: "Hot tranny mess."

"I think Alexander is doing something big and silly and hot tranny mess; I don't like it," Perry said in reference to the work of fellow Project Runway contestant Alexander Knox.

"Tranny" is classified as "defamatory" in GLAAD's recently released media reference guide, noting that works like "tranny," "she-male," "he/she," "it," and "shim," "dehumanize transgender people and should not be used in mainstream media.

The term "hot tranny mess" entered the pop culture lexicon in 2007 when eventual Project Runway Season Four winner Christian Siriano popularized the term as his catch phrase. After backlash from GLAAD, Siriano apologized for such casual use of the term, though he later clarified that it wasn't the push back that caused him to stop using the term, but simply that he grew and matured as a person.

Trans Tech Social Enterprises CEO Angelica Ross and Trans 100 co-founder Jen Richards expressed disappointment in the show's revival of that phrase, posting to Instagram, "[Who's] the real mess? #DesignerMitchell Pack your bags!"

And indeed that's what happened. Perry was eliminated at the conclusion of the episode.



 

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