The Real Housewives franchise, in its many citywide iterations, is no stranger to allegations of homophobia and transphobia. The latest episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta proved the rhetoric is alive and unwell.
On Sunday night’s installment, Kim Zolciak-Biermann made her long-anticipated return to The Real Housewives of Atlanta by surprising the cast at Nene Leakes’ “girls and gays” party — a problematic conceit from the start. Although she began the night amicably, Zolciak-Biermann eventually clashed with her co-star Kenya Moore, accusing her of lying about her marriage with new husband Marc Daly.
After the ladies ask Moore when they will finally get to meet her beau, Moore assures them, “soon, hopefully soon.” In response, Zolciak-Biermann chimes in with, “It ain’t gonna fucking happen, bitch, because he don’t exist.”
“Shut the fuck up, OK?” Moore angrily snaps back. “Why do you have such a hard-on for me? Didn’t they cut it off during your reassignment surgery? Why do you have such a hard-on? Jack off somewhere. Get it off. Jack off somewhere, and get it off your chest.”
Fans immediately called out Moore for her behavior.
Even Zolciak-Biermann brought up the incident on Twitter — albeit calling it a “situation.”
Moore, on the other hand, seemed relatively unbothered by the controversy, saying the accusations of transphobia were “reaching.”
RHOA’s history with regard to its treatment of LGBTQ people paints a narrative not reaching, but in fact, quite blatant.
In 2015, potential transgender cast member Amiyah Scott reportedly quit the show after producers asked her to sexualize herself and tried to turn her into “the bitch of the cast.” Scott elaborated on her experience on the show in a lengthy Instagram post, noting that “trans women are not only sex objects and prostitutes. We are strong, educated and human, just like everyone else. And we are here and we demand respect.”
But have the women learned from the fan blowback? If Sunday night’s episode and Moore’s attempt to de-escalate the situation through denial proves anything, it is a lack of any awareness of a community that has for so long helped bolster their relevance.
Until Moore can adequately apologize for attempting to use trans identity as an insult and inaccurately speaking about the process of gender confirmation surgery, she is welcome to twirl off our TV screens and hide away at Moore Manor.