The Huffington Post sat down to discuss all things RuPaul’s DragCon with one of World of Wonder’s founders Randy Barbato and RuPaul himself! Don’t forget that DragCon takes place at Los Angeles Convention Center on May 7 and 8! Sponsored by Logo, DragCon premiered last year as a way to unite the drag community and give this most fabulous tribe a place to come together.
Here’s an excerpt of the interview, but make sure to read the rest here!
I had the pleasure of chatting with two of DragCon’s creators, RuPaul and Randy Barbato, who, with business partner Fenton Bailey, runs World of Wonder, the powerhouse production company responsible for RuPaul’s Drag Race, Million Dollar Listing, Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, and many other pop culture pleasures.
Xaque Gruber: If you were to put together a Drag Hall of Fame, who would be your first five inductees?
RuPaul: But darling, I AM putting together a Drag Hall of Fame. It’s called RuPaul’s Drag Race. I bow down to all 100 queens that have shared their stories with the world and brought a new awareness to the art of drag. All of us on Drag Race stand on the shoulder pads of the queens that came before us. There are way too many to name just five.
XG: When you consider that pop culture’s first teaser of RuPaul was in The B-52s’Loveshack video, and then a few years after that Supermodel (You Better Work)was all over radio and clubs, then a few years after that The RuPaul Show on VH1 and then Drag Race many years after that. So RuPaul’s DragCon has actually been a long time coming – it’s not an overnight happening.
RB: Yes, DragCon’s been a LONG time in the making. It appears like an overnight success but it’s not. It’s also a great opportunity for the public to show their love and appreciation for the artistry seen on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
XG: Going back to your earliest years, was there a moment where you remember first seeing drag and saying “this is interesting.”
RB: I was always fascinated and obsessed with drag and gender fuckery. I did my N.Y.U. grad school thesis film on a drag queen who moves to suburbia. To this day, no stars are as big to me as the drag stars from The Pyramid Club in New York City where Fenton and I used to go. We’ve always been outsiders, and we still are. We’ve got a bit of freak in us.
XG: Share with us what it’s like to work with RuPaul.
RB: He’s a great businessman and I love working with him on a business level, but I am so moved by his ability to connect with people on a deeply spiritual level. He’s not a snob, and he has persevered for over thirty years. What he offers is deep, and his depth has generosity. It’s wonderful to see people really get that.