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Popular costume designer accused of intentionally misgendering trans activist

Written by gaytourism

Trans activist Ashlee Marie Preston

Abraham David Levy is a popular costume designer. His glittery works have even appeared RuPaul’s Drag Race. However, on 25 July, the renowned LGBTI designer was accused of intentionally misgendering trans activist Ashlee Marie Preston.

What happened?

The drama took place online. Preston chastised RuPaul for failing to recognize the hit show Pose, which features transgender talent both in front of and behind the camera.

‘The fact that America is raving about “POSE” on FX Networks and RuPaul hasn’t uttered one word,’ Preston’s 24 July tweet reads. ‘Nor has he let a single thought escape from under that tattered wig—confirms what the trans community already knew.’

Preston cross-posted the Tweet to Facebook.

Levy responded on Facebook.

‘RuPaul is currently filming [All Stars 4] just last month finished filming [Drag Race Season 11] and also working on a daytime talk show…eventually she’ll have time,’ Levy’s since-deleted comment read.

‘Not to mention there’s a trans on [All Stars 4] but what does this guy really know about Ru?’ the comment ended, referring to Preston as a ‘guy.’

Followers of Preston’s stepped in to correct Levy. Instead of apologizing for misgendering Preston, Levy doubled down.

‘I’ve decided Ashlee is a man, end of conversation. Period.’


RuPaul has been accused by many trans people of being transphobic. Earlier this year, he told The Guardian that he would not accept transgender contestants on Drag Race if they have begun to transition. Following backlash, RuPaul addressed the statement but failed to properly apologize.

Abraham David Levy’s Instagram account has over 23,000 followers. In his bio, he describes himself as an ‘avant-garde designer.’ He proudly states that his work has appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race and even in Pose.

‘How can Abraham David Levy misgender me as a trans woman AND make costumes for POSE on FX?,’ Preston Tweeted on 25 July.

‘If you’re going to be a transphobe at LEAST be one who doesn’t rely on the trans community to feed you, pay your rent or keep your lights on’

Levy’s response

According to Hornet, Levy addressed the interaction in a separate Facebook post.

‘Apparently you can’t say anything on social media without it being taken out of context. Late last night I came upon a post where someone was bashing Rupaul for not speaking about POSE. While defending Ru and the trans community, I posted “he” has no clue as to what he’s talking about. (Not noticing it was a woman who wrote the thread.),’ Levy wrote.

‘SOOOOO, at this point I have 3 people trying to correct me, I’m like WTF??? so with my sense of humor I posted back “Allie is now a he and that’s that. Period.”’

‘Now I’m being branded a trans phobic [sic]… go figure. Me, who works with everyone no matter what race or creed. For the record, ask any of my trans friends how I work with and they will tell you I give them everything for free. Yes me the “trans-phobic” taking care of my girls.’

Levy denied any wrongdoing and refused to apologize.

‘In no sense of the word will I apologize for something I’m not,’ he said. ‘I’m not racist or phobic in any way. Never have, never will be.’

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