07/03/2018 15:09 GMT

Transgender 'Drag Race' Finalist Peppermint Addresses RuPaul Trans Controversy

'Unfortunately it won’t be the first or last time we will hear a woman can’t do something a man can.'

Peppermint, the first contestant on ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ to have been openly transgender throughout her time on the show, has spoken about RuPaul’s recent controversial comments about trans people.

Last year, Peppermint finished in second place in the ninth season of ‘Drag Race’, behind winner Sasha Velour, and during her time on the show, she spoke about her experiences of being a trans woman in the drag community.

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Peppermint in her 'Drag Race' promo shot

She was also the topic of conversation in an interview with RuPaul over the weekend, with the drag legend telling The Guardian: “Peppermint didn’t get breast implants until after she left our show; she was identifying as a woman, but she hadn’t really transitioned.”

RuPaul also stated she “probably” wouldn’t allow a queen who had “really transitioned” to compete on the show, He has since issued an apology but Peppermint has now had her say on the matter.

Speaking to Billboard, Peppermint said: “RuPaul kicked open so many doors for queer and gender non-conforming folks and is an absolute trailblazer in the world of drag. But recently, Ru made statements I disagree with.

“When I started my transition back in 2012, I learned a valuable lesson. I learned that absolutely no one has the ability or the right to define your womanhood, manhood or transness, but you. I also learned women should not be defined by what surgeries they have or haven’t had.”

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Following the controversy created by his Guardian interview, RuPaul initially stood by what he said, tweeting: “You can take performance enhancing drugs and still be an athlete, just not in the Olympics.”

However, he later said: “Each morning I pray to set aside everything I THINK I know, so I may have an open mind and a new experience. I understand and regret the hurt I have caused. The trans community are heroes of our shared LGBTQ movement. You are my teachers.

“In the 10 years we’ve been casting Drag Race, the only thing we’ve ever screened for is charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent. And that will never change.”

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars’ is currently airing in Comedy Central, with a new series of the show’s regular run debuting in the US later in the month.

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