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Willam Belli is Transphobic, Shocking No One

Willam Belli is Transphobic, Shocking No One

During a recent episode of Drag Race favorite Willam's show "Suck Less," the always-problematic AAA Girl and guest Courtney Act attempted to give a fan advice about her relationship. The fan in question explained through email that she was worried her boyfriend, a trans man, wouldn't be able to sexually satisfy her without a penis.

While Act chimed in with helpful advice that was respectful of the man's gender identity, Willam proved himself to be horrifically insensitive and disgustingly transphobic. “Just because someone says they’re a boy doesn’t make them a boy,” said Willam. That is a literal denial of the definition of transness: that internalized gender identity is just as valid as biological sex.

 Act valiantly attempted to school both Willam and the fan with a thoughtful and succinct affirmation that “Sometimes, men have vaginas and sometimes men have penises. That is a fact of the world that we live in.” Willam decided to go for broke, insisting that unless a trans person has "the science," which I'm assuming refers to gender confirmation surgery, they will always be the gender they were assigned at birth.

How does a famous drag queen — in 2017! — make it through years of fame supported almost entirely by a queer audience while being so blind and misguided when it comes to trans people? Drag queens are supposedly artists who understand the mercurial nature of gender and identity, so how is one of drag culture's most celebrated queens such a bioessentialist hack?

Willam has made a career on the back of being an outspoken queen who was never afraid to make people mad for the sake of humor, but this is truly beyond the pale. Just because Willam is a man in a wig doesn't mean he is the arbiter of gender expression. Willam is not the first transphobic drag queen, nor will he be the last, but the queer community needs to hold him as accountable for this behavior as it would any other bigoted entertainer.

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