Thanks to RuPaul’s Drag Race, drag is more mainstream than it has ever been before… but is it actually mainstream? If you ask RuPaul, the answer would be, “No.”
In a new interview with Vulture, RuPaul discusses the struggles the public has with accepting drag as part of mainstream culture:
Do you feel that drag can never be mainstream?
It will never be mainstream. It’s the antithesis of mainstream. And listen, what you’re witnessing with drag is the most mainstream it will get. But it will never be mainstream, because it is completely opposed to fitting in.
Throughout your career, have you ever felt like you are part of the mainstream?
No. You know, I’ve never been on Ellen or David Letterman or The Tonight Show, and there’s a reason for that, which I don’t want to go into, but there’s a reason that I’ve never been thought of as someone who can go on there. Because it makes those hosts feel very, very uncomfortable, especially if we really talked. It would be the opposite of what they’re used to. So am I part of the mainstream? No. People know my name, people know what I look like, but am I invited to the party? No, and there’s a reason for it.
Would you want to be?
No. In fact, I made a pact with myself when I was 15 that if I was going to live this life, I’m only going to do it on my terms, and I’m only going to do it if I’m putting my middle finger up at society the whole time. So any time I’ve had yearnings to go, “Aw, gee, I wish I could be invited to the Emmys,” I say, Ru, Ru, remember the pact you made. You never wanted to be a part of that bullshit. In fact, I’d rather have an enema than have an Emmy.
Do you agree or disagree with Ru? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Related: Latrice Royale, Mimi Imfurst and Coco Peru Discuss The Impact ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Has Had On Drag Entertainment
Well good, think has a good following at any rate….
Unless you count the tragic pageant queens
Jaime-Arturo Rodriguez Luevano
I get what Ru is saying. Couldn’t agree more.
Going through life putting the middle finger up to society, seems kinda bitter and angry.
And that’s why I love it.
Transvestite is pretty mainstream now
RuPaul is an inspiration. At least to me! I’m not a drag persona, though I love watching it, and I’m not a transvestite or transgendered or anything else — just a gay man. And that’s enough for me to not ever want to be part of the mainstream. Being gay is one of the best gifts I could ever had, as it has forced me to be an outsider and see things differently from the people in the mainstream. Who the hell would ever want to be ordinary like that? We should all celebrate that we are different.
Drag is the equivalent of black-face. Most women find it offensive. That’s the real reason, Ru.
I get where Ru is coming from. Here we have an art form that’s been around for centuries, and it has evolved to magnificent heights, being reimagined and perfected and unmade and broken down, and then you give it an award, as if you understand it. Drag, on its own, is a reward.
To each their own, if your opinion differs, remember, it’s YOUR opinion.
I think it’s becoming mainstream.
Mohsen Al Bawab
She honestly brilliant. What a brilliant way to express what drag is to her 🙂
I still think that Drag has the capabity to have a side that seeks the mainstream. But this is such a great way of saying her opinion!
Drag is not blackface.. it’s an art form.
While I get what Ru is saying, drag is popular, especially among older white ladies. I saw a touring drag show with some faces from recent seasons and the crowd was overwhelmingly older-skewed and white. Of course, that doesn’t mean they approve, but they do watch RPDR… and I suppose other shows like “I am Cait”… but I suppose that the TV shows are far enough removed from their actual lives that it is just entertainment to them. I’d suspect they’d have a far different reaction to something that actually touches their life.
Unless women are born wearing make-up and heels your comment doesn’t hold up. But then again, you already know that.
Oh and Brian, considering every comment you post up here normally attacks women, it doesn’t sound like you know a lot about them, so how would you know what does or doesn’t upset them?
As for RuPaul, good for him, and I do think it is interesting that he hasn’t even been on Ellen.
What Ru fails to mention/understand, if you have watched RPDR, it’s very clear there are gay/homosexual undertones to the show and the queens interaction. If society is has shunned her version of drag, it is society’s issues with the gay part not the drag. There are very well known straight men who have been very successful doing drag, Barry Humphries, done drag that have not faced such shunning.
I know this sounds horrible, but I fear clowns and drag queens. They have always terrified me. I cried as a kid when the clown asked me to participate in a game during a party. Now I fear the drag queens.
@DCguy: You are wasting your time. The guy thinks he’s a genius. He repeats the same things over and over again. He is like a broken record. I remember a guy in 2014-2015 who said things very similar…but i dont remember his nickname (but i’m pretty sure it has ‘brian’ in it). I think it’s the same guy but i’m not totally sure.
I love Drag Race and really appreciate RuPaul giving a stage to really excellent artists and showing people that drag isn’t just about being pretty and passing. It’s about expression and creating a charismatic and entertaining character. I kind of agree that drag has always had a rebellious bent to it, and that the goal is to turn social norms on their head.
RuPaul reminds me of the line from the song I am what I am, “I am my own creation,” and for that, I salute her.
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