Carmen Carrera has found herself at the center of a major LGBTQ controversy following her recent appearance on the TLC show Cake Boss. As we wrote yesterday, Carmen was asked to come on the show and flirt with Cousin Anthony at a club as a prank that would ultimately reveal Carmen is a transgender woman. Instead, the show decided to edit the footage referring to Carmen as a man, which she is not.
Carmen took some time to speak with us today about the incident, still upset about what happened. She said the show had been looking at other contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race and when they found Carmen, who is transgender and performs as a drag queen, they thought she would be perfect. Carmen, for her part, thought it would be a great way to raise transgender awareness.
“They presented [Cake Boss] to me as a family show. I thought this would be perfect to raise awareness about transgender discrimination and send a positive message to this audience,” she explains. “I was going to go in there, flirt a little bit [with Anthony] and then it would be revealed I was transgender and people could see it is not embarrassing to flirt with a transgender woman or to find a transgender woman sexy or attractive.”
The shoot went great according to Carmen, and she even stayed after she was done filming her secene with Anthony in the club. “I came back after the scene and everyone said I was beautiful and they respected me. [Cousin Anthony] shook my husband’s hand and we took photos together. It felt like a sense of unity.”
Though she was reassured “like, 100 times” the message would be positive, it was not when the show aired and by calling Carmen a man did the exact opposite of what she set out to do. “I am trying to be a positive role model and to educate people and now, thanks to this episode, it looks like I am feeding into the ignorance.I am trying to say you can be beautiful and have a family and a job and a life as a transgender person and instead, by doing this show, I feel like we took 20 steps back.”
Buddy Vlastro, the star of Cake Boss, did call to apologize to Carmen personally — and bake her a cake.”He called and apologized and said it wasn’t meant to be malicious, but this is the message they are sending. They are saying it is okay to call a transgender woman a man. They need to edit the show the way it happened because it is going to keep playing over and over and more and more people will watch it.”
Cousin Anthony meanwhile did apologize on Twitter for referring to Carmen as “it,” saying; “Hi all, I appologize [sic] for my ignorance. @carmen_carrera is a beautiful woman & i respect her greatly. no harm intended. My apologies.”
You can learn more about transgender awareness on Carmen’s Facebook.