RuPaul changes iconic Drag Race catchphrase to be more gender inclusive
30 December 2020, 15:13
Racers, start your engines!
RuPaul has made an important update to an iconic Drag Race phrase to be more inclusive of trans and non-binary contestants.
Everyone knows that for 11 years, Ru has said: "Gentlemen, start your engines, and may the best woman win," right before the queens hit the runway. However, in a Season 13 preview clip (which kicks off on Jan 1) Ru replaces the line with something more inclusive. Ru now says: "Racers, start your engines, and may the best drag queen win!"
Fans were thrilled with the new update, which ushers in welcome change and recognition for drag queens who are not cisgender men. Season 13 actually includes its first transgender male contestant, Gottmik, while two non-binary queens (Bimini Bon Boulash and Ginny Lemon) will feature in the upcoming second season of Drag Race UK.
Ru has previously got in trouble for his problematic comments on non-cisgender queens. During a 2018 interview with The Guardian, he famously said: "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 big f-you to male-dominated culture. So for men to do it, it’s really punk rock, because it’s a real rejection of masculinity." He has since apologised and has seemingly made an effort to be more inclusive.
During All Stars 4, Ru changed the catchphrase to "ladies and gentlemen, start your engines" because of Gia Gunn, who had come out as a transgender woman, since competing in Season 6.
In 2014, the offensive slur "tranny" was banned from the show and the following year Drag Race binned the "you've got she-mail" catchphrase after it was accused of being transphobic. Instead, it was replaced with "she done already done had herses".