The ideas for Drag Race came from my experience in the business. All the challenges came from everything I’ve done, which is radio, producing myself, marketing myself, dissecting what it is that could take me from below 14th Street to mainstream Betty-and-Joe Beercan. And we also wanted to celebrate drag as an art form, which during the post-9/11 era had really gone back underground.
When a culture is engulfed in this hostile fear, gender identity issues really have to go underground because people don’t have time for it and it fuels their fear. But everything is cyclical and I could sense that it was time again.
Also, with my own legacy, to bring these young kids through me to build a platform for them to become stars. Because, truth, I was the only bitch in the game for 20 years at this level. So now, my girls rule the world! Apparently all the girls round the country hate my girls because the only way to get a booking is if you’re alumni from RuPaul’s Drag Race!”
—A modest RuPaul explains the origins of her hit reality series, in Spin magazine.