RuPaul Denies “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Lacks Diversity: Everybody Is Welcome
RuPaul has made waves for the drag queen community, but it’s no secret it wasn’t always this way. The personality and daytime talk show host opened up about the lifestyle as well as his own previous struggles in recognizing his truth.
While it seems as if the drag queen lifestyle is more accepted and a key piece of pop culture, RuPaul, whose birth name is RuPaul Andre Charles, said that the truth is, it has a long way to go. And the parts that are accepted now are just surface level.
“A superficial aspect of drag is mainstream. Like, the ‘Ooh, girl’ or ‘Hey girlfriend!’ or ‘Yaaas.’ That’s mainstream culture. But true drag really will never be mainstream. Because true drag has to do with seeing that this world is an illusion, and that everything that you say you are and everything it says that you are on your driver’s license, it’s all an illusion. Most people will never in their lives understand what that is. Because they don’t have the operating system to understand that duality.”
He also opened up about being sober. He said he stopped using chemical drugs and drinking alcohol in his 30s, in the 1990s. He said by 1999, he was able to let go of marijuana as well and hasn’t looked back. Now, he lives quite a disciplined lifestyle.
“I drank and smoked so much weed because I wanted my world view to change. The truth is a very powerful thing. The truth of what’s really going on. I wanted to shut that out. Once I stopped doing that, the work became how to process the truth. The truth of what this world is, the truth of what people are. And how far we have come in civilization. Which, by the way, is not very far. We are a very primitive people. And for people who are sweet, sensitive souls, it becomes kind of torture.”
“People who operate at a certain level have a lonely road to travel. Just a fact of life. And learning to navigate that—the other people in your life, or the reality of your family, the reality of the state of business, or politics—it becomes really boring. And for people like us, being bored is the most excruciating thing of all.”
“I changed my ideas about myself. I said, I’m gonna do this in drag. Not only am I going to do this in drag, I’m going to do it in glamazon drag. And I’m going to take some of the sexual subversiveness out of it and make myself like a Disney caricature, so that Betty and Joe Beer Can won’t feel threatened by the sexual aspects of drag. They won’t be threatened by the fact that I’m actually mocking identity. That was the scientific combination that I used to break through to the mainstream. So that’s what I did. I enlisted the help of all my friends, my tribe members, and together we came up with this look. That’s how ‘Supermodel’ happened. That cracked the code.”
“Parents come up to me [now] and say [the show] helped them understand their queer child a little bit more. This little TV show has changed and saved so many people’s lives.”
Still, he didn’t want to talk too much about the trans aspect of the series. RuPaul faced backlash after he said he would prefer not to allow a transitioning transgender woman on the show in March 2018. It looked like he had a change of heart when a transitioning contestant was announced for the series the following November.
“Yeah, I don’t want to talk about that. It’s a lose-lose situation. There’s not one thing I can say that will make people feel better about it. I know what I am. I come from a place of love. I’m not here to make people feel bad.”
— Danielle Young (@RhapsoDani) September 23, 2019
And while he’s been called out in the past for not having a diverse cast (see that here), he said that’s simply not true.
“There are a lot of people on the crew who do hair and makeup and people that work behind the scenes. I would consider it to be a diverse group of people. I’m one of the people who works on the show and I’m African American. When people come in [and] show that they want to be there and are willing to put in the hard work to be able to make the show be the success that it is, everybody is welcome.”
What are your thoughts on RuPaul’s comments on the drag community? Tell us in the comments!