Carmen Carerra Criticizes Cake Boss
“It.” It’s never the word one should use when referring to another human being, right? That’s the message Carmen Carerra – a transwoman who came out earlier this year – is hoping to send to viewers of the popular TLC reality show Cake Boss. Carerra, a former contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race, recently appeared on an episode of the show. But what she thought would be a teachable moment turned into a nightmare as backlash escalated and Carerra was called a man and “it” and criticized for her appearance on the show.
The unfunny, dehumanizing prank not only belittled Carerra, but also poked fun at other transwomen as she became the punch line among the male cast members. At one point, one of the guys even declared, “It’s a man, baby.”
“This is like taking twenty steps back in my goal of being a positive role model for the transgender community,” says Carerra. “I’m appalled to have been tricked into this episode that was supposed to send a positive message.”
After the episode aired, Carerra took to her Facebook page to set the record straight. “I was born male and not ashamed of it,” she wrote. “I wouldn’t of cared if they said I was born male or used to be male. By calling me a ‘man’ promotes ignorance and makes it okay to call transgender women, men.”
The producers of the show have since tabled the episode from rotation pending review and Carerra is using the experience to shed a little light on transphobia on television. As an outspoken advocate for LGBT human rights, she is hoping that TLC uses the experience to send a message about bullying and how name-calling can escalate into violence – something trans men and women experience at disproportionate rates.
“You are not a freak, you are not a weirdo,” says Carerra. “I don’t want a cake, I don’t want an apology. I want them to have some remorse for what they did and fix this. At the end of the day, I want to promote equality and end ignorance. Transgender people are dying because of stupidity like this. It is not okay.”
This week, Carerra’s supporters even started a petition on Change.org, asking TLC to make a public apology. We like to think the teachable moment isn’t lost after all.
Here’s the controversial clip: