Friday, December 13, 2013

Transgender Model Dreams of Being a Victoria Secret Angel

Carmen Carrera, who achieved fame from being on RuPaul's Drag Race, is a transgender model who is up to the task of breaking stereotypes.

She is publicly stating her dream and her immense fanbase is coming to her aid; more than 42,000 people have signed an online petition for her to become the next Victoria's Secret Angel.

"I know Victoria's Secret haven't acknowledged the loud noise my fans have made and that's for them. I'm just going to audition next year like any other model and see what happens."

And while many in the LGBT community applaud her zeal... some are concerned.

Sheldon Helms, a Psychology professor at Ohlone College sees this as both a step forward... but a step fraught with unintentional negative consequences, "The great thing about this is that Carrera has a chance to bring the Trans community more publicity and to "normalize" being trans. The bad parts are 1) her fame came from Ru Paul's Drag Race, further perpetuating the stereotype that Trans women are drag queens (one is about pretending to be a woman, the other is about BEING a woman), and 2) becoming a Victoria's Secret model will promote the sexualizing of Trans women and the judgment of the "success" of their transition based upon how "convincing" they are, rather than accepting them for their professed gender regardless of outward appearances."

Marissa Martinez, trans woman vocalist and guitar player for death metal band Cretin also questions if Carrera is the best voice for trans issues, "She's pretty bad at articulating trans issues and speaking as an activist therefore. which is an issue if, as many believe, Carrera is using her status as a trans woman and the inequality therein as a way to convince Victoria's Secret to hire her..

Whatever the outcome, Carrera is determined to continue her career in modeling... she says her biggest obstacle isn't bigotry from not being born a biological female... but her love of french fries.

"I work out as often as I can but as far as diet goes ... I love french fries" she told reporters, "I'm Hispanic, so anything with salt and starch. I'm going to have to kick my butt in the gym."

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