Carmen Carrera is an actress, model, performer and transgender activist. She first appeared on television in RuPaul’s drag race before she transitioned, and is now modelling with the Elite Model Management Agency. An agency that hires cisgender as well as transgender women. I think within her professional this is a commendable position to be in, as Carrera is proving that transgender women are women, which in an appearance first industry, can be a difficult task.
I was first drawn to Carrera as a role-model by various interviews that allowed her to display her own personal ideology and vocalise her thoughts and opinions.
Now that I’ve been through my transition and I have a better sense of self I’m able to voice that desire to like stand up for people. So now I guess people call it an activist but in my opinion it’s just standing up for what’s right. (Renegade Warriors: Meet Carmen Carrera)
Her voice is a powerful one. It’s not just in the interview form either, whilst being on the reality series Couples Therapy With Dr. Chen, Carrera challenged some stiff opinions on transgender people and opened up a few (seemingly patriarchal) views.
Whilst being a positive representation of a transgender woman, Carrera has also been a part of the transgender movement for acceptance on a wider scale. Being a part of the fifth CANDY Magazine Cover entitled ‘Role Models’ she is among other transgender women, such as Laverne Cox, who are dedicated to making a positive difference for transgender people.
I can imagine that there are a few negative opinions of Carrera floating around because of the way she portrays her sexuality. However, I’d like to argue for her. Yes, she sometimes performs naked, with videos including Steven Meisel’s Showgirl for W Magazine, leaving little up to the imagination. She attracts the patriarchal ‘male gaze’ which in itself is an issue. However, a space which was previously claimed only by white, cisgender women is now beginning to open to other sexualities, gender identities and races. Carmen Carrera is breaking boundaries.
Value yourself with as much love as you have for the need of acceptance from others. Love will always win. Love me (#LoveMe Letters, Refinery 29)