Gia Gunn on the Lack of Transgender Representation in Media: ‘I Personally Kind of Blame RuPaul’

Ever since appearing on season 6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Gia Gunn has always spoken out about the issues that matter to her. As one of a select few transgender women who have competed on Drag Race, Gunn has made sure her voice especially loud regarding the treatment of trans women on the hit reality show.

In an interview on PROUD, the LGBTQ-centric radio program for Apple Music’s Beats 1, Gunn took aim at RuPaul herself, saying that the constant public confusion over the transgender identity could have been lessened had RuPaul allowed more trans women to compete on the show. “I will be honest: I do personally kind of blame RuPaul for creating this confusion,” she said. “Trans women have been involved in gay culture since day one. Which then means trans women have also been involved in drag culture since day one. Why the world does not see us women out there now, like we do all the other drag queens, I think it’s very simple why.”

Gunn went on to clarify, though, that the exposure she and her fellow transgender contestants have received is invaluable. “I now feel so responsible being an open trans woman on Drag Race or part of the Drag Race entity,” she said. “I guess at the end of the day, as much as I may point fingers and blame, I guess I’m also thankful because it looks like I know what it is that I have to do.”

During her interview, Gunn also spoke about being one of the 37 drag stars featured on different covers of New York magazine’s “Most Powerful Drag Queens in America” issue, saying that mainstream media outlets have come a long way in offering honest representation. “I’m just so grateful that more and more mainstream platforms are not being afraid of showcasing drag queens or trans women or queer artists,” she said. “I think for many years I think it was kind of something to be ashamed of, and now it’s almost like you should be ashamed if you’re not condoning this, you know?”

Listen to the full episode of PROUD here, and check out a few clips from the show below: