drag story hour

The library is open: 10 Ru-vealing, must-read memoirs from the wide world of drag

RuPaul on ‘SNL,’ Image Credit: NBC

Since the meteoric rise of RuPaul’s Drag Race into mainstream appreciation, several queens from the show have forged admirable multi-hyphenate careers in entertainment—including TV shows, podcasts, world tours, and, yes, books!

This week, the “queen of drag” himself RuPaul’s released The House Of Hidden Meanings, his revealing memoir, which was met with critical acclaim and awe from readers thanks its candor and the vast range of topics the legend tackles. So, while you’re on the way to the bookstore to pick it up, we wanted to remind you of other queens—of Drag Race fame and otherwise—whose own memoirs have graced shelves in recent years. 

Below, find 10 must-read works of nonfiction from queens you know and love, and hopefully one or two that will be a new find for you!

The House Of Hidden Meanings by RuPaul

The brand new memoir from Mother herself hit shelves just this past week on March 5. The House Of Hidden Meanings is already being hailed as a brutally honest, raw, and profound look into the life and mind of RuPaul. From growing up Black, poor, and queer, to the mainstream superstardom he knows today, The House Of Hidden Meanings is the impressive and breathtaking deep dive into every corner of RuPaul’s life we’ve been waiting for. 

My Name’s Yours, What’s Alaska? by Alaska Thunderf*ck 5000

This memoir showcases the All Stars 2 winner’s rise to drag superstardom, beginning with her early life, having grown up in small-town Pennsylvania. Alaska is among the generation of drag queens who came from an underground drag scene and fought tooth and nail to help bring drag to the level of appreciation it has today. Forever absurd and hilarious, Alaska’s memoir tells the stories of each stage of her adventurous and creative life.

Blame It On Bianca Del Rio: The Expert On Nothing With An Opinion On Everything by Bianca Del Rio

This season six winner of Drag Race is one of the most hardworking and brutally hilarious queens in the game. Since her win, she’s toured all over the world with her standup comedy, and in her book, she brings all of her gloriously hateful insights to the page. It bears repeating: don’t miss this book.

Trixie And Katya’s Guide To Modern Womanhood by Trixie Mattel & Katya

Image Cred

As one of the most iconic drag duos around, it only makes sense that Trixie Mattel and Katya wrote a bestselling book together. Trixie And Katya’s Guide To Modern Womanhood is a collection of essays, conversations, and how-to guides packed with glimpses into their hilarious dynamic, perfect for any fans of their podcast, or any of their many ventures together.

The T Guide: Our Trans Experiences And A Celebration Of Gender Expression—Man, Woman, Nonbinary, And Beyond by Gigi Gorgeous, Gottmik & Swan Huntley

In collaboration with Gigi Gorgeous and Swan Huntley, Drag Rage alum Gottmik co-authors this candid look into the trans experience, complete with anecdotes and advice from advocates, allies, and activists from across the gender spectrum. The T Guide chronicles these writers’ experiences with coming out as trans, the transition process, navigating difficult situations, and tips and tricks to consider along the way. This is no doubt the kind of book that can save a life. 

The Big Reveal: An Illustrated Manifesto Of Drag by Sasha Velour

Ever since the rose petals fell on the season nine finale stage of Drag Race, Sasha Velour has been pushing the boundaries of drag as high art, and her stunning memoir is no exception. The Big Reveal is the ultimate drag manifesto—combining memoir, queer theory, and Sasha’s gorgeous flair for visual art.

Diary Of A Drag Queen by Crystal Rasmussen & Tom Rasmussen 

Crystal Rasmussen is a drag queen, activist, and TED speaker whose 2020 memoir covers the nuances of the drag experience with grace, wit, and admirable candor. Uniquely structured so you hear from “both” Tom and Crystal—Tom’s drag persona—this is a can’t miss drag memoir of our time.

Drag Queen Of Scots: The Dos & Dont’s Of A Drag Superstar by Lawrence Chaney

Filled with hilarious stories and tricks of the trade, this RuPaul’s Drag Race UK winner’s memoir is a can’t-miss deep-dive into the history of everyone’s favorite Scottish (drag) queen. From her early years as the “gay class clown” to ultimately taking the U.K. by storm, Drag Queen Of Scots showcases Lawrence in all of her beauty, wit, and wisdom. 

Coming Out Party by Shangela & Nikki Levy

This Audible original led by the Drag Race legend, Shangela, is a celebration of all kinds of LGBTQ identities, featuring coming out stories from other queer celebrities, including Jake Borelli, Nicky Paris, and Daniel Webb. While technically an audiobook—made in collaboration with the hit live show Don’t Tell My Mother!—and not something you can crack open and read, it’s perfect listen for a car ride or a long walk. 

Unicorn: The Memoir Of A Muslim Drag Queen by Amrou Al-Kadhi

After growing up in a strict Iraqi-British Muslim household, Amrou Al-Kadhi later discovered the power of drag at Cambridge university. This memoir tells the story of all those moments in-between, and the choices that led to them creating the drag career they have now. Unicorn pulls back the curtain on Amrou’s search for belonging, and the influences that led them to pursuing drag as an art form and career. (Amrou’s feature directorial debut, Layla—which just premiered at Sundance—was inspired by many of their experiences written about here.)

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One Comment*

  • KissBananaPeels

    RuPaul is PROBLEMATIC and has been for a LONG TIME

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