Mama Ru is making the rounds talking drag, politics and the Emmys. Ru talked to Vanity Fair‘s Rebecca Keegan in a story that appeared online yesterday. At their interview, which happened a week before the white nationalist protests erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia, RuPaul said he took hope from the 13-year-olds who watch his show and attend DragCon (which is coming up in two weeks in New York City…)
“Drag has always been a political statement. It has always been a social statement. Our statement has always been to not take life too seriously, and to laugh at people who see things just as black and white. The Trump way of thinking, it’s restrictive. It’s old-fashioned, and it’s really not reflective of who we are as Americans, honestly. There is a narrative that we have been moving toward as Americans that has been derailed by this divisive nastiness. We Americans are not nasty people. We are open, fun-loving, progressive people, and so our show serves to represent that voice, and to carry on the narrative of the American dream, which is openness and expansive thinking. That’s who we are. We’re not the other thing.”
Being gay, black, drag . . . a lot of the power players, I met them all, but there was still a bit of a standoffishness with me. They didn’t know what category to put me in. They know, yeah, I’m famous, and I’ve done all these things, but they didn’t know how to approach me. I went thinking, O.K., let’s go. Let’s roll up our sleeves and let’s talk. I didn’t really find a lot of that there. It was very much like Animal Farm where, yes, revolution, but then the animals wanted to do exactly, secretly, what Farmer John was doing. It was like, ‘oh, no, no, no. Let’s burn this goddamn farm down’!”
RuPaul’s latest effort to shake it up is a scripted TV show, produced by JJ Abrams, based on his young, club-hopping days in New York City in the 80s…
“This is during the Reagan 80s. New York was just coming out of being bankrupt, and there was a sense of freedom. It was back when New York was really a tapestry, when everybody could live there. Not just rich people. And I would go to five or six clubs in one night, and whites, blacks, gays, straight, Puerto Rican, Latin, uptown, downtown . . . We believed this was the only place in the world where everybody could come together. We’d be walking down St. Mark’s, and out of every car there was a ghetto blaster. They were blasting Madonna, ‘Into the Groove.’ Dun, dun, dun, dun . . . Everybody. It was so fun! It was so fun.”
I was there too. It was SO fun!
— RuPaul (@RuPaul) August 22, 2017
(Photo, VHI; via Vanity Fair)