Christian Siriano: If you think of heterosexuals, they have white-trash women and trailer parks, and we have drag queens and trannies. I don’t know if I’m the one who can explain it. It’s, like, drag queens are just there. These answers are hard!
I swear, if I see this twit walking around Williamsburg again, I will be tempted to clock him upside the head with a pink flamingo. Let’s see, Christian. You grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore, went to school abroad in London, then got a big break on Bravo by flinging around 80s drag ball terms like “fierce” and deriding outfits as “a hot tranny mess” over and over.
In case anyone was confused about whether you meant “tranny” as a slur, now you’ve made it clear: trans people and drag queens are down there with “white-trash women” and trailer parks! You know, all those low-class bad things — gee, why didn’t you throw “welfare queens” in there too? Maybe I should get together with a couple of my white friends from lower-income backgrounds, get our car off the cinder blocks, and drive around Brooklyn looking for you. Pink Flamingo!
Time Out’s premise of asking a bunch of random homosexuals to weigh in on the rapidly self-devouring remnants of “gay culture” in New York is awfully thin to begin with. But Siriano somehow manages to suck the meaning out of the conversation every time he opens his mouth, like some kind of vacuous intelligence-leech. I mean, look at this:
Douglas Carter Beane: When a gay man does drag, it’s the most beautiful feminist statement. When straight men do it, you’ve got to train them not to be negative. I learned that from making To Wong Foo.
Christian Siriano: I love To Wong Foo! It’s so good, so fabulous.
I don’t know if I agree with Douglas Carter Beane, but at least he was saying something that had a shred of content in it. I have some advice for Christian: why don’t you just say “I like turtles!” every time someone asks your opinion of anything that doesn’t have to do with clothes. It would be more entertaining and some people might even find it meaningful.
I am only consoled by imagining what must have happened right after Siriano made his “trannies” quip. I’m sure they all looked at him like he was insane. But what comes next in my fantasy is that Ariel and Stacey-Ann held him down while Glenn Marla whacked him with a tap shoe, gave him a crew cut and dressed him up in items selected from the Sears discount activewear rack.
You might be thinking: Holly give him a break, he’s only 23! Unfortunately that means he’s actually been an adult for five years. Lest anyone wildly imagine that I actually want to inflict physical harm on him, let me just say that the kind of exasperated rage he evokes in me and many other queers I know is more like the feeling you get from a younger cousin who’s getting way too much attention for misbehaving in disrespectful and ignorant ways. You really wish that an older relative would take him aside and explain to him that he’s making a fool out of himself, and will be really embarassed to look back in five years after he becomes a E-list wash-up.
When that doesn’t happen, you kind of wish someone would just whack some sense into him. Or send him to a gay version of military school, where he could learn not to be such an idiot in public… from experience boot-camp sergeants like RuPaul, Sir Ian McKellen, and Sandra Bernhardt. It wouldn’t be all bad; I hear gay military school has great perks! It’s either that or the pink flamingo drive-by, Christian.
UPDATE: (thanks Jill) Sirianio is now saying that he was quoted out of context and his words taken the wrong way. I’m not sure exactly what context the comparison above could be made in that would make this all OK, but the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation says he regrets the comments and is working to take “tranny” as a slur out of his vocabulary. He invokes the “some of my best friends are trans” defense, and does acknowledge that he’s not exactly a gender-conforming straightwad himself. Sadly, that’s never been a guarantee that someone’s not dissing trans folks as trash. But at least it’s possible that someone’s steering Siriano on a path of less public Fleuvog-in-mouth syndrome.
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