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RuPaul apologizes for remarks, but uses "train" painting not trans flag

RuPaul Charles apologizes for polarizing comments.
Photo credit:
Wikimedia Commons

RuPaul got a lot of backlash this week for the things he said about trans contestants on VH1’s  Emmy-winning “Drag Race,” causing the Queen of Drag to post an apology on social media, but in doing so created another controversy.

The trouble first started in an interview for The Guardian. When asked if he would cast a transitioned transgender contestant on the show, RuPaul said, “probably not.” He then gave reasons why

“You can identify as a woman and say you’re transitioning, but it changes once you start changing your body,” said Ru, adding, “It takes on a different thing; it changes the whole concept of what we’re doing.”

This set off a flurry of social media criticism. Enough so, the media impresario made an apology on Twitter, using a picture of what some believe is supposed to be the trans flag—only it wasn’t a trans flag at all.  

The first part of the amends read:

"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."

Immediately following that was another post

“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.”

Accompanying those words is a picture of what many believe was supposed to be a transgender flag, but in actuality is a 1953 painting called “Train Landscape” by artist Ellsworth Kelly.

This prompted many in the comments to wonder if the Ru had accidentally used the wrong flag, thinking it was the trans one.

"So was this the flag you meant to tweet? The trans flag? Because that’s literally Ellsworth Kelly’s 1953 painting Train Landscape in your original tweet and I...??"

YALL THIS IS A TRAINS FLAG said one commenter.

asked another, "??? did you search train flag???!? ? lmfao."

Quipped one more, "Thomas the tank would like to say thanks for the exposure."

It is standard practice that celebrities have publicists or social media managers whose main job is to post on social media pages, so this may be a mistake made by an unwoke employee at team Ru, but considering the context it was meant to address, it only makes the reality star have to apologize even more. Unless for some reason he meant to use it. If so, it remains to be explained why.