Jinkx Monsoon, who was crowned the winner on Season 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, has been subjected to a wave of anger and abuse online, after voicing a character in the Cartoon Network animated series Steven Universe.
Steven Universe is a story about a young boy who is friends with humanoid aliens known as ‘gems’. It has been hailed for its strong LGBTQ representation, and for “dealing with gender in a much more open and mature way than is typical for the genre.”
In July of this year, it was announced that Jinkx, an avid fan of the show, would be providing the voice of a new character, a villainous gem named Emerald, and while many celebrated the casting, others were surprisingly upset at the decision.
It’s official! I voiced Emerald in one of my favorite shows: Steven Universe! Gigantic thanks to @rebeccasugar who gave me this chance and made my dreams come true! Here’s hoping this is the beginning of a wonderful love affair with @cartoonnetwork pic.twitter.com/1PI2XlYnW3
— Jinkx Monsoon (@JinkxMonsoon) January 7, 2018
The crux of their problem was that all of the current ‘gems’ on the series are voiced by women, and some fans were angered that Jinkx – who is male-bodied but identifies as non-binary – would be joining them. One actually took to Jinkx’s own Facebook wall to write:
“… your little wimp voice with minuscule and mediocre talent belongs in the trash can. Your charisma is cheap and knock off. Get off social media and the drag world. You’re a phony wannabe performer who got lucky and whose stage needs to be exterminated.”
At the time, Monsoon took to Twitter to address some of the negativity from fans of the show and set the record straight, saying: “Because this apparently needs to be repeated … I am male bodied, I prefer to identify as non-gendered/non-binary. I prefer they/them.”
Comic artist Hamish Steele, another outspoken fan of the show, came to Jinkx’s defense, saying:
The Gems are meant to be non-binary – and we actually finally have a non-binary person voicing one and yall get mad. :/
— Hamish Steele (@hamishsteele) July 24, 2017
It appeared that the controversy had died down, but this week, when the Emerald episode of Steven Universe aired in the US, Jinkx came under attack once again on the basis of gender identity. This time, they took to twitter to write:
“I’m realizing that my debut on Steven Universe has reignited the extremely divisive argument about gender and genitalia. I dealt with this with the sneak peek. A self identified non-binary person, voices canonically non-binary character, and people are mad.”
Drag Race judge Michelle Visage also reached out to them, saying:
“Baby, you are SUCH a gem. You have zero time to validate the negativity cuz YOU are too busy living your truth and making your dreams come true!”
Baby, you are SUCH a gem. You have zero time to validate the negativity cuz YOU are too busy living your truth and making your dreams come true! https://t.co/akmYVwv1vA
— michelle visage (@michellevisage) January 12, 2018
It seems that Jinkx isn’t all that bothered by the negativity, as in addition to launching a new album – The Ginger Snapped – this week, they Tweeted at The Cartoon Network, saying “here’s hoping this is the beginning of a wonderful love affair.” Here’s hoping, indeed.
Source: Pink News
Image: Getty Images / Jeff Spicer