'Drag Race' Peppermint: Stop Asking Trans Women to 'Blend In'

Ever since coming out as transgender, Peppermint has become a fierce advocate for the LGBTQ community.

You’ll probably remember Peppermint as the amazing runner-up from RuPaul’s Drag Race season 9. During her season, she very bravely came out as trans to her castmates (being both trans and a drag queen is pretty controversial in the drag community).

But Peppermint has never been one to hide who she is. Most recently, she took to Instagram to discuss passing (aka “passing as cisgender”) and why trans and gender non-conforming people should stop trying to blend in. Personally, she felt like she would never be able to truly “pass.” She wrote,

“As a six-foot-tall black transgender woman, I was plagued for years by my own fear and self-doubt. I fell under the belief that I was too tall, my hands were too large, my voice was too deep etc.  I felt I’d not only never be deemed attractive, but never be passable as a woman with the body and blackness I was born into.

“Historically, the test of a trans woman was always how well she could ‘pass’, or how undetectable she could be – I was aware that just by virtue of being who I was and in the body I was born I would never have that ability. Some do, Many don’t. ”

drag race peppermint trans
Photo: Peppermint / Instagram

So that’s why she’s encouraging the rest of the LGBTQ community to embrace who they are and not to worry so much about passing. She wrote,

“With the platform I was given I’m committed to being as vocal/visible as possible to make this journey more welcoming for the younger versions of ourselves who have yet to travel it. Unfortunately, I’ve seen my fair share of young trans internet personalities using their platform to poke fun at genderqueer and gender non-conforming folks and irresponsibly mis-advise fans to just ‘blend in’. We all have a story. We all have history. We all have reasons for doing what we’ve done. But, I’m hoping that we can eventually find a stronger bond within the trans and gender-nonconforming communities.”

Hell yes, girl! I completely understand why any trans person would like to pass (especially for safety reasons!), but I also would love to live in a world where they don’t have to.

Since Drag Race, Peppermint’s career has skyrocketed. She stars on the new Broadway show Head over Heels, making her the first transwoman to originate a lead role on Broadway.


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Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.