RuPaul has made history as the cover star of Entertainment Weekly’s special Pride issue.
The world’s most iconic drag queen featured in amazing, over the top photo shoot to commemorate the magazine’s tribute to the LGBT+ community. Ru also gave an interview in which he talked about his career longevity, the importance of drag, and his message to LGBT+ youth.
He expressed his desire for young LGBT+ people to become more politically active: “This year in the LGBT[+] community I hope to see young people get more involved politically and become more active and more aware,” Ru said. “I want to see young LGBT people – not just young, all LGBT people – get involved politically because these freedoms that we have witnessed in the past 20 years could slip away in a heartbeat.”
Drag Race has seen its popularity skyrocket over the last few years. This season, the show moved networks to VH1, which saw it’s audience grow even more. The series will be back for a tenth run next year, but Ru doesn’t think Drag Race will ever go mainstream because drag is “the antithesis of what our culture is about”.
Let’s hear it for @RuPaul! America’s First Lady of Drag reflects on 30 years of LGBTQ pop culture in this week’s special issue. 🙌🏽🌈 Plus, we reunited the cast of #TheLWord and #BattlestarGalactica, and have a sneak peek at the #Will&Grace revival. 😯Click the link in our bio for more, and pick up an issue on newsstands starting Friday, June 16. #DragRace 📷: @tonykellyworld for EW
Ru puts the show’s popularity down to the way the audience relates to the queens. “On our show what people really relate to is the tenacity of the human spirit,” he said. “These are kids on our show who are a lot of times disenfranchised from society, from their families, and they’ve found a way to shine.”
He also opened up about the trajectory of his career. Ru first rose to prominence in the underground scene in New York City in the 1980s, before achieving mainstream success in the 90s. He took some time out of the spotlight before returning with Drag Race in 2009.
Ru’s career hit a number of false starts, as he explains. “Everything came to a screeching halt when I turned 28. I moved out to LA because nothing was happening for me. I was sleeping on my baby sister’s couch, not a penny to my name.
“I thought, ‘Could it be that this is not meant for me?’ It was this horrible existence. And one day, my friend Larry Tee called me and said, ‘Ru, what the f–k are you doing? You are a star. Get your ass back to New York and get your shit together.’ And I did. I got a plane ticket and decided I was going to shave these legs, I’m going to shave my chest, I’m going to put some fucking titties in – rolled-up socks, not implants – and I’m going to go back to New York and give those bitches exactly what they want from me.”
And he certainly did!
Watch the video below: