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The multi-hyphenate was sent home just two episodes into the season after one of her co-stars, The Real World’s Trishelle Cannatella, accused her of reacting “dramatically” to her suggestion that Peppermint could be one of the show’s “traitors” (players who are tasked with secretly “murdering” fellow contestants in hopes of winning the show themselves). Although Trishelle presented dubious evidence, her campaign against Peppermint convinced the rest of the group to “banish” her at the first roundtable elimination.
“I can guarantee you that the full conversation I had with Trishelle started and ended at that moment,” Peppermint told Out in a recent interview, referring to the brief interaction cited as evidence in her banishment. “I did not leave the situation even thinking about it… But it does seem as though it was on her mind, because she talked about it before I got into the room… I did think, ‘Okay, this is something that happened in front of other people. She put it out there, and her recollection is really shady.’”
Given that the Drag Race contestant — who is a Black trans woman — was the only trans contestant on season two, Trishelle’s campaign to eliminate Peppermint based solely on finding her response “dramatic” felt uncomfortably rooted in microaggressive tone policing.
Although Peppermint’s stint on The Traitors was cut far too short, she left things on a high note with an instantly memorable exit speech.
“I came into this game because I’m a huge fan, but the bigger reason for me to come here is because I’m trying to put all my energy, and use my platform, to advocate for our transgender community,” she said, moments before walking out the castle doors. “I will keep being myself. That will never stop. But in this game, I think some of you all have been led astray.”
Between a controversial early elimination and several drama-prone Housewives, the Peacock reality show is sparking discussion.
Peppermint told Out that she’ll keep pushing for trans representation in reality TV, especially at a time when “our identity and who we are is the subject [being] talked about at legislative levels, at judicial levels, on TV, and certainly on social media.”
“Those people are making money off of [talking about trans people]... Given this landscape, I do believe that it’s really important to sort of hear it directly from the people in the community,” she said. “The best way to do that is to fully integrate us into the situation just like you are integrating everyone else. We have a lot to offer. But systematically and industrially, we haven’t really had the opportunities.”
However, Peppermint emphasized that putting one trans person on TV isn’t the end-all, be-all.
“When I talk about casting trans people on TV shows, it’s not just because they want to be famous,” she told the queer publication, adding, “Don’t just get one person in front of the camera. Let’s get a trans director. Let’s get a trans writer. And let’s not have it be one show.”
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Originally Appeared on them.