Bil Browning

Peekaboo Tranny!

Filed By Bil Browning | October 28, 2010 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Apple iPhone apps, insert a tranny, peekabootranny, transgender women

So there's this great new app on the iPhone that I'm sure Bilerico readers cannot live without... It's called "PeekabooTranny." Now what does this wonderful can't-live-without-it app do? You take a picture with it and -- wait for it -- it adds a "tranny" into your picture. Get it? She's playing "peekaboo!" in your picture.


Seriously though, not only is the whole premise offensive - especially the name - but Apple is notorious for being prudish about the apps it approves for sale in its App Store. This one made it through the process but a dictionary was blocked temporarily for including definitions for curse words and they still mark most LGBT apps as "contain age-restricted material" that requires you to put in your password to "prove" you're over the age of 17.

What's next now that Apple's standards department is okay with stereotypes and slurs? I smell Peekaboo Wetback! It'll insert a Mexican man wearing a sombrero and holding a burrito!

The stereotypes don't just end with putting a pic of your friendly neighborhood tranny either. You don't even have to keep the same tranny! You can buy several more inside the app and you can have all sorts of trannies running amok on your iPhone.

While the app "processes" the photo, it plays you a gay dance tune fit for any drag queen. And when you choose to save a pic, this screen pops up as it finishes.


Feel like calling Apple and telling them how much you appreciate their level of diligence? You can reach Apple Public Relations at (408) 974-2042.

Let them know that "tranny" is offensive - it's a slur that they shouldn't have approved. If they'd like to sell an app that adds a drag queen to your photo, that's fine. But there's no need to use a derogatory slur in the title and Apple should have caught this one immediately.

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My main issue with this app is that it should be renamed "peek-a-boo drag queen" because that's who the 'characters' in it really are. Drag queens are about cheesy entertainment and (mostly) sexually exploiting themselves... what are we supposed to do, ban them? I think they have a right to exploit themselves. I don't like the makers of this using 'tranny' as in a generic 'hip' snarky term for transgender women. Not cool.

Nor do I think peek-a-boo tranny is equivalent to something like peek-a-boo 'wetback' but I have an issue whenever people try to mainstream the term tranny even though there are clearly many people in the trans community who are uncomfortable with it and feel oppressed by it.

Agreed. PeekabooDragQueen wouldn't be offensive at all - and it seems to be what the creators were aiming for.

Why not peekaboo faggot? Some of us would enjoy that. I demand full equality now!

I like the idea in general ... I'd like to see "Peek-a-boo Closet Republican" which inserts a famous homophobic Congressman (such people tend to be males) into the scene you just snapped.

Of course, somewhere out there in "the Cloud" the marketer will need to maintain an image database of all the GOP politicians that have been arrested in a men's room lately --- preferably in various compromising positions and various states of undress. But perhaps this function could be outsourced to the DC police department, or maybe the DNC.

(If you are a software developer, I don't ask for royalties but I would appreciate credit for suggesting this idea.)

Might be interesting if AT&T actually had phones that work and coverage that was worth considering. Where I live I would have to drive 10 miles to get the phone to work.

A transgendered person or a transsexual is nothing like being a drag queen. A drag queen deals in exaggerated stereotypes while a transsexual women seeks to find congruity between who they are on the inside and their outward presentation. I have always been female even when my outward appearance belied the fact... Tranny is always an offensive term when it is used by anyone other than a transgendered person... I am an American of PA German extraction... We might refer to ourselves as dumb Dutchmen but no outsider better use that term... The case is the same with the word tranny.

can we please rally around "Peek-a-boo Jesus" - both left & right / christian or not would all love a surprise visit from jesus

Greatest idea ever. You could have bored and jaded Jesus, crazy happy Jesus, angry Jesus... brilliant!

Kathy Padilla | October 29, 2010 11:02 AM

Apple may have approved the app - but someone authored it. Maybe you could ask Ryan Brockington (who apparently works for the NY Post?) to explain his work and relationship to the trans community?

Angela Channing | November 1, 2010 5:43 AM

Yes, suppose this application was created by a drag queen or transgender person? Would that make it offensive or funny?

The Ryan Brockington of claims both the peekaboo tranny app and New York Post as portfolio projects.
Whether he is the same as the Page Six/POPWRAP reporter, that's unclear. But, two folks with the exact same name working for the exact same company in the exact same town leads one to believe a similarity may be afoot.

Perhaps if you paid attention to queer pop culture and comedy of late, you'd be well aware that "tranny" is used within our culture often as a synonym for drag queen. This app doesn't include pictures of transgender people, it includes pics of drag queens. If you don't like that our community appropriates words and in turn uses them for comedy, then well, may gay Jesus have mercy on your humorless souls.

Kathy Padilla | October 29, 2010 3:48 PM

True - it would be much, much too difficult to choose to appropriate a word that wasn't a slur we have to live with. The least we can do is laugh at ourselves, laughing at you, laughing at us.

Since I was a little gay baby, Kathy, I've been called every hate-filled slur in the book. As an adult, I've taken the power out of each of those words with laughter. If you can't laugh at yourself and you can't laugh in the face of hate, then... like I said earlier, may gay Jesus have mercy on your humorless soul.

Kathy Padilla | October 29, 2010 5:53 PM

Now THAT'S funny.

I'd like to know what the people whose images are inserted into photos define themselves as -- I'd like to see people here stop assuming they're "drag queens".

The fact of the matter is, when I lived in Los Angeles, I knew a lot of bona-fide *trans women* who had a flamboyant expression of femininity. I also saw a lot of the same from **cisgender women** when I grew up in a predominantly low-prole Black neighbourhood in metro-Detroit, and when I lived in a largely Hispanic part of East L.A.

People's assumption of "drag queen" is little more than a classist (and, dare I say, potentially *racist*) form of cis-supremicism -- after all, you're implicitly suggesting that the only "real women" are middle-class white women and the trans women who identify with that flavour of femininity.

I'm not going to assume these people (whose images are probably being used without consent) are "drag queens" until I see it from them.


Take your moralist shit somewhere else.

This concept of "self-exploitation" is type used by rape apologists, who suggest if you "flaunt your sexuality" you're "just asking for it".

Queens don't bring noveltization on themselves. They should be able to be as sexual or campy as they want to, without heterosexist culture commodifying them.

This shouldn't be named "Peekaboo Tranny" OR "Peekaboo Queen".

This needs to be named "Peekaboo Dead Cis Person"


The app is gone. I searched for it and it is gone. Personally i will not miss it. As it is Transsexuals have a lot to deal with and a lot more important than to have some stupid app developer think it is funny to use their situation for a funny app.

The app is now, at least for a while, dead. The app was also part of a full social media campaign with images and captions as "wonderful" as "looks like someone pushed a tranny down an elevator shaft." The developer wants to hide behind the whole project being just innocent fun. While a cis person looking at a single piece of this project may be able to dismiss it as just fun, the whole is totally prejudicial. And, while I'm pretty used to the sophomoric jackassery that is levied against our community, I am thoroughly maddened by people profiting financially from hate speech. How would everyone like to see people making money from a blackface app, or beat the homosexual app? It doesn't seem that fun to me.