Since the beginning of Wendy Williams’ career, rumors about whether or not she is transgender have been the subject of conversation. As the talk show host said in an interview with ABC News, “People do think I was born a man.”
The topic came up during a conversation when Williams was asked about transgender Orange Is the New Black star Laverne Cox (who made history this week when she became the first transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy), but Williams decided to talk about her own rumor mill.
“That is absolutely not [true],” she said about the claims that she’s a man. The radio veteran went on to say she understands why the rumors are out there. “I get it. I’ve got a strong face, a strong body; I’m 5 feet 11; I wear wigs. I get it,” she said. “Do I get upset with it? No.”
Williams added, “There’s no worse way to insult a woman than by saying she looks like a man, but once a woman gets over that, there is no stronger woman. It rolls off her back when you say it. There’s nothing you can call me at this particular point. I’ve been dealing with this for decades.”
On July 18 Williams will turn the big 5-0, and as part of her birthday celebration, she’s kicking off her one-woman show in Las Vegas on July 11. Williams’ early childhood will play a huge part in her stand-up routine, even though it wasn’t the greatest.
“I had a very tortured childhood,” she claimed. “I didn’t grow up the popular girl or the popular cheerleader. I’ve never been to a prom [and] I didn’t have a lot of boyfriends, so I’m used to being on this side of life.”
Yesha Callahan is editor of The Grapevine and a staff writer at The Root. Follow her on Twitter.