Carmen Carrera may be best known for the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race on the Logo Channel but a recent trip in reality left the cake out in the rain. After seeing the final cut of TLC’s Cake Boss episode “Bar Mitzvah, Beads & Oh Baby!” Carmen was shocked to see how the show was edited.
The punch line of the joke was “that’s a man baby” offending the recently out of the closet as transgender Carrera.
Carmen called the day after the airing to set the records straight.
Jerry Nunn: Hi, Carmen. Was the last time you were in town was an appearance at Spin Nightclub?
Carmen Carrera: No, I was just in town a week ago. I had my breast done. I was there for a week and a half or so. I could hardly go out anywhere because I was all drugged up, sore, and swollen. I made a video and posted it online to show I was okay.
JN: Why did you decide to have the work done in Chicago?
CC: Because I wanted the best and that was the look I was going for. I didn’t want to look like a plastic Barbie. I wanted to look natural and sexy. I wanted to look like myself just a little enhanced. Many of my transgender friends have gone to this doctor and I liked his work.
JN: Are you on Drag U this season?
CC: Not on this season but I was on two episodes before.
JN: What was RuPaul’s reaction when you came out transgender?
CC: Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t know how Logo or World of Wonder feels about it. Even before RuPaul’s Drag Race I wanted to transition. I didn’t want to do drag anymore. I was having issues my own club circuit, other performers with all the shade and drama. I was ready to give up drag. When I was referred to World of Wonder I thought it would be a good way to part. I would be able to look back and watch it. I didn’t know my time on the show would be so popular.
When the show started to air I was already six months into my transition.
JN: What were people’s reactions from the show at that time?
CC: I was getting all this mail from straight fans and all of this exposure. I wanted to promote the fact that I was transgender to shed some light on the subject. Many gay people don’t even understand most of it.
I finally came out with a piece for ABC Primetime: What Would You Do? I really wanted to educate people. I was really open with it. I was ready to announce to everybody. I was afraid from judged so much on the show and having their opinions. I wasn’t sure if I was brave enough making a life changing decision. I just hoped to inspire someone somewhere. I posted a whole thing on Facebook showing my transition every three months. It was not easy with the medications and it was hard on my body.
JN: How did you wind up on a show for TLC?
CC: I got the phone call from them I told them that I wanted it done right and to show respect. I had already shot the piece for ABC. I told them where my career was going and I was still a showgirl. I told them that I wanted to educate people on not being ignorant. I told them it was not okay to call transgender women “men.” They said they understood and they are a family network. When it was filmed in the club it wasn’t the way it was edited. That was why I was so upset. When Buddy Valastro told his cousin that I was born a male he had a reaction but it wasn’t as dramatic as it was made out on TV.
I was right there, my husband came over and we all had a piece of cake, did shots. He told me how beautiful I am and all of these positive things. I left that day with the feeling that everything went perfect. This was a different network that will show respect for transgender women. That was my feeling leaving.
JN: So that is not what happened apparently.
CC: Not at all, they made a mockery of it. It even looked like I was part of it. That this was something I signed up for. I am trying to be a positive voice so this doesn’t make me look good.
JN: What have people said since it aired?
CC: On Facebook some people have said that I shouldn’t get any support for it because that is the way it looks. If I had known this was going to happen I wouldn’t have done it. The reason I made such a big deal about it is because I don’t want people to think I was a part of it.
JN: Buddy has apologized since then. What do you think about that?
CC: He called me and said he was sorry. He asked me if he could make me a cake. I told him I could buy my own cake. I wanted him to call his producer and have them edit the episode the way they filmed it. He said, “He will see what he can do.” They pulled the episode but I don’t know if it will be played in other countries or YouTube.
JN: Take me back to Monday when you watched the show.
CC: I was excited all day. I was telling everyone to watch it and how great it would be. I had someone make me a graphic for it. Then when I watched it with my husband I got so upset. Those people knew what they were doing and they did it. I felt so stupid.
JN: Sounds like a big lesson on how you can be edited.
CC: I have done reality television before but this reveal in the club had continuity. I thought there was no way it would be messed up. They just decided to not use any of that footage. People were asking why I am being so dramatic on Facebook but it’s because I didn’t sign up for that! It is not okay to make a joke out of transgender people. Just like women don’t like to be called bitches I don’t want to be called a man. I could care less if people don’t agree with my life decisions but at least respect me for it. My mom is the only person I allow to judge me in the world.
JN: You have your own family with a daughter too.
CC: Yes, my husband’s daughter has grown up around me. I have known her since she was five years old.
JN: Do you want to take a break from reality TV after this?
CC: No, I love reality television. I just don’t like to be lied to. I don’t like to be the butt of a joke because a lot of people aren’t brave enough to put it all out there. Many trangender people turn to prostitution or drug use because they feel so belittled by society. I want to show them they can have a family like me.