Calpernia Adams is a transsexual woman and a longtime member of the GLBT community who assisted Jared Leto prepare for his Academy Award-winning role in The Dallas Buyers Club. Leto and Adams have come under fire from later-transitioning heterosexual males like Parker Molloy and Dana Beyer for promoting a “stereotyped” view of transgender women. Adams responded to one such hit piece by Molloy thusly:
There is palpable homophobia in the language of women like Molloy when they sneeringly wield the term “drag queen” in an attempt to destroy someone’s identity. Coming from someone whose entire body of work is essentially about policing language, the hypocrisy is particularly staggering. And especially when it comes from people who’ve presumably lived most of their lives with the tacit approval and support of a society that viewed them as heterosexual, white men (however they truly were inside), this misplaced anti-gay language should receive the same level of criticism as something like RuPaul’s use of the words “she-male” and “tranny.” To me it’s worse, because I believe RuPaul’s error is simply the tone-deaf carelessness of someone who has lived through and shaped many eras of queer and gender culture. The “gimme that too!” victimization grab of women like Molloy comes from not having earned their place as “inside” cultural commentators yet.
Many lesbians and gays have observed this homophobia among transgender women (usually formerly heterosexual men) over the last few years, culminating in the promulgation of the Cotton Ceiling, a rape culture idea that lesbians are bigots for not having sex with transwomen.
We look forward to more columns like the one Adams wrote.