There are not many people out there that haven’t heard of RuPaul, who we can safely say is probably the most iconic drag queen of our time and he even out of his fabulous costumes, he is an impactful TV superstar. Born RuPaul Andre Charles, he has in fact been on the drag queen scene long before he burst onto our screens. Today, we can watch him on his famous RuPaul’s Drag Race or in his latest hit show, AG and the Queen. But what do we know about pre Drag Race?
Speaking of his childhood, he said that his family home was rather “tumultuous” and that “they were crazy hillbilly people.” He spoke about his mother and told how everyone in the neighborhood has a nickname for her, “Everyone in the neighborhood called her Mean Miss Charles, and I said, ‘No, she’s not mean, she’s just direct.”
The beloved RuPaul continued, “My parents were these hillbillies from Louisiana who were wrapped up in this wild psychodrama with each other. So us kids—me being the middle child—had to be a diplomat, and had to read the situation to figure out what was needed at that time. It’s a survival technique.
I’ve used that technique throughout my life. These girls come, and they want to become America’s Next Drag Superstar—and I am America’s First Drag Superstar [laughs]—so I help guide them through these challenges, and through the changes that go on psychologically inside, and that’s where those coping tools come into play, that I learned from early childhood, with these crazy hillbilly parents.”
Most of us would agree that drag and the queens that portray these amazing personas are becoming more mainstream but RuPaul had something else to say about that, “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. Don’t expect RuPaul to become mainstream, either. 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.”
Well, for everyone’s sake we hope RuPaul is wrong and that he will one day be given the platform and opportunity to shine his light for even more people.
We love you Mama Ru!