We truly are living in the golden age of RuPaul. Nominated for his first Emmy ever (hard to believe considering he’s been inspiring us for the past three decades!), and All Stars 2’s big premiere tonight on Logo and Vh1, his star continues to rise and grow. He graces the cover of NEXT Magazine donning a shimmery coral frock and discusses politics, the Black Lives Matter movement, and living life out loud.
Check it out:
On All Stars 2:
I was going to say you should invoice me for all of the interviews I do with anybody because I almost always mention your quote about doors opening and doors closing and that life is very cyclical. And right now, for you the door of drag and Drag Race is open and you are going to keep walking through it. So that’s what I want to talk to you about today. That open door, All Stars, your Emmy nomination. Let’s start with All Stars. What are you looking forward to audience members seeing this season on All Stars?
Well, you know these are all girls that we have come to know and love. It’s fun to see what they are up to now, how they have changed, knowing what it is like to be on television and back in that work room, how they handle these challenges this time around. With All Stars, we designed the challenges to really let these bitches have it. You know? They can’t come there expecting the same old challenges we have given them. Especially given that they have now traveled the world, they are superstars around the world. So we have to really, really let them have it. We know that when we put the challenges together for All Stars.
On his Emmy nomination:
What about your Emmy nomination? What were you feeling when you found out you were nominated?
My first thought was about Logo and how happy I was for Logo. You know, Logo has been around for a long time now and it really hasn’t gotten the recognition, I think, it deserves. So my first thought was how happy I was for Logo. But my whole life, my whole career, I have always worked off the grid, outside the status quo. So for the status quo to recognize the work I’ve done I’m like, “Ummm – that’s great but that’s really not the reason I do what I do.” It can’t – it couldn’t be the reason I do what I do because if I made that the reason, I would have been really, really disappointed many years ago. If I was looking for validation or recognition from the industry, it would have broken me. So, I love that they have recognized it but I am more excited for the people I work with. For their work to be recognized.
On living out loud:
One of the things Randy and Fenton from World of Wonder say about their subjects is that they, “Live out loud.” The documentary Through the Eyes of Tammy Faye that you narrated totally revolutionized my world. When you think of Tammy Faye and her legacy, what are some things you draw from today?
Well, the first I think about is Tammy Faye is the essence of the Pollyanna story line which is seeing the good in people. In fact, I have written about this – Tammy Faye appeared in a dream of mine where she told me, “Ru, focus on people’s innocence rather than their guilt.” Which is absolutely beautiful and I need to be reminded of that because that is what she was about. That’s what she got from her life as a Christian is that we focus on the good in people. Some people see Pollyanna as being ignorant and being not able to understand the complexities of life. But like Tammy Faye, Pollyanna is an ascended master. She understood the complexities of life. She understood both sides, the dark and the light. But she made a conscious decision to focus on the light which is really an elevated place to be. It’s not to say that the dark is good or bad. It’s just that the darkness will bring you pain. If you want pain that’s fine, no judgment. That’s your thing. But if you want joy, if you really want joy – you will focus on the light. You will focus on a person’s innocence and that is what I think of when I think of Tammy Faye.
Since Orlando, there has been so much police brutality against people of color. With the Black Lives Matter movement, how do you personally respond to that?
I believe that there is the same amount of brutality. I am 55 years old. I am a black man and gay. I have witnessed the exact, same amount of police brutality. The only thing that is different children, you up and coming children, is that there are smart phones and people recording it. That is the only difference. It has always been this way. It is not different. The struggle for an outsider has always been a dangerous, dangerous road. You know, throughout my career I have learned how to be a shapeshifter. Even from childhood, I learned how to transform myself into whatever the situation calls for to protect myself. Even in my own family – I grew up with two hillbilly lunatics who were beating each other up – I learned how to survive in that battlefield. It hasn’t changed. It hasn’t changed. People are fucked up. Are they more fucked up now than ever before? I don’t think so. I think more people are talking about it now and they are recording it on their fucking phones.
[via NEXT Magazine]