Scroll To Top

Courtney Act Perfectly Breaks Down Drag vs. Trans for the Celebrity Big Brother House

Taylor Henderson

After last week's jaw-dropping entrance on Celebrity Big Brother UK, Drag Race Season 6 alum Courtney Act is doing RuPaul's work by breaking down exactly what it means to be a drag queen and be transgender for her housemates—and hundreds of thousands of viewers at home. 

When the Aussie drag queen first entered the house, transgender news reporter India Willoughby might've felt a bit uncomfortable, but after a camped-up mini-show Courtney Act put on with housemate Andrew Brady, she went so far as to liken drag to blackface.

Questions swirled among the CBB stars, and Courtney (real name Shane Gilberto Jenek) felt the need to explain the differences between doing drag and being transgender, and why Willoughby was upset.

"I think that what she struggles with a little bit is that someone might see me and see her and think that we're the same thing."

The castmates didn't immediately understand and asked a lot of questions, "And obviously she's had the operations and all that, so pre to her ops, she would've been technically drag, no? 

Luckily, Courtney was extremely patient and understanding, "No. She never identified as a drag queen. Drag is more performance-based, hers is about her gender identity."

"Did she dress up as a woman when she was a man though?" 

"She was never a man, but she had a man's body," replied Courtney. "The process normally for her somebody like her is that you would start wearing you know women's clothes, you would start dressing as a woman, and you would go to the doctor and you would get hormones. That's called your transition, you're kind of evolving into a woman sort of thing."

"You don't want to do it though?" the housemates asked. "You're a man, and you don't want to be a woman at all?" 

"No, I feel very comfortable with my body," she added. "If gender is on a spectrum from man to woman, I feel like I'm more in the middle but on the man side. Whereas she, she's like a radical conformist when it comes to gender, she's as close to woman in her mind as one can get."

This isn't Celebrity Big Brother UK's only brush with transgender issues this season. Willoughby came on to fellow housemate and iconic R&B artist Ginuwine, asking if he would date a transgender woman. "You would date me, yeah?" 

"Not if you were trans," replied Ginuwine. She responded by attempting to kiss the singer, who hastily brushed her aside. The internet quickly launched a debate on if the incident was an act of transphobia or sexual assault

Get more Celebrity Big Brother UK here.

From our Sponsors