January 22nd, 2019

James gets fired for what he said to Katie. Billie stands up for James. Katie gets angry at Billie. Billie should hate James for what James said to Katie! Katie organizes Girls’ Night In at SUR (to replace James’s lucrative DJ Night). Katie doesn’t invite Billie. Why should she? Billie stood up for James. Billie deserves to be excluded. So Billie is excluded from Girls’ Night In. And Billie is a trans woman.

Billie tells Katie that the reason Katie doesn’t understand the implications of excluding Billie is Katie’s cis-privilege. Hearing this, the other girls go wild. Cis-privilege? Cis-privilege? What the fuck is that?! Lala says she doesn’t have any idea what it means, but if it’s coming out of Billie’s mouth, it must be fucked up.

In seven seasons of Vanderpump Rules, a show centred around SUR, a restaurant in the heart of West Hollywood, only one queer server has been featured and now she, Billie, is the latest to be shunned by this group of women (who call themselves the Witches of WeHo). In seven seasons of Vanderpump Rules, there have been two women of color who’ve attempted to integrate into the show, who have also been dismissed or cast out.

The cis white privilege is real, and the SURvers are going to face backlash online today for failing to understand it. The upside is, a large segment of the audience of Vanderpump Rules will now be googling ‘cis-privilege.’ The upside is, maybe comments these SURvers are about to face will help them see that setting aside a personal beef with a trans person in order to include them in a professional initiative–whether it’s called Girls’ Night In or not–is the responsibility of a cis-person, is how you battle transphobia.