A transgender male will compete in VH1's "RuPaul's Drag Race" for the first time in the show's history when Season 13 commences on Jan. 1, the Wrap reported.
What are the details?
Celebrity makeup artist Gottmik — a biological female who transitioned to male and underwent breast removal surgery — is a self-described "trans man who is changing the face of drag," the outlet noted.
The show has cast transgender contestants before, but the Wrap said they all identified as trans women.
"This is my third time trying out. If I got on before this time, I literally would've been depressed," Gottmik told Entertainment Weekly. "Out of drag, I wasn't transitioning [when I applied in the past], so I wasn't happy as a person. I wasn't where I wanted to be physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, any of it, so I took a break from auditioning for a year or two so I could focus on the out-of-drag part of me. Now that I'm in a good place out of drag, I'm in the best place in drag, and I'm going to kill this."
Gottmik — who's based in Los Angeles — uses male pronouns out of drag and female pronouns in drag, the magazine noted.
"It's kind of confusing on paper when you just put it down," Gottmik told Out in a story about "being a transmasculine person who does high femme drag."
"I thought, 'All of these guys around me are so feminine, and no one's questioning their masculinity or anything…. It makes no sense that just because I happen to be assigned female at birth, I cannot also be a feminine man,'" Gottmik — who began doing drag at 18 before transitioning — added to Out.
Gottmik added to EW: "The trans guys I saw [in media before this] weren't me. Too masculine, too straight…. I looked around like, all of my guy friends are so feminine, that means I can be feminine, too! When I realized that, it was game over. I'm so excited and in such a good place and I'm ready to fight for my community and represent them down. The main thing I want to make so clear is that the gender spectrum is really crazy, and I feel like me doing feminine drag is confusing to a lot of people. I want to show everyone that no matter what you transition to, boy or girl, there's a whole gender spectrum in between that you can play with and have fun with, and it doesn't mean that your identity is any less valid."
RuPaul's Drag Race | Season 13 First Look youtu.be
RuPaul hasn't always appeared sympathetic to the transgender cause.
During early seasons, RuPaul would address contestants via video at the beginning of the show with the catchphrase "You've got She-Mail" — and the Wrap said the term "she-male" is considered transphobic.
More from the outlet:
In 2014 he came under fire for a segment on the show called "Female or She-Male," where contestants had to guess if a fellow competitor was cisgendered (not trans) or not based on partial photographs. Since then, several of the show's transgender contestants have spoken out about RuPaul's apparently casual transphobia — he also said in 2018 that transgender women who compete as drag queens are "cheating."
RuPaul later apologized for the comments, and said on Twitter, "the trans community are heroes of our shared LGBTQ movement. You are my teachers."