RuPaul explains why ‘drag queens are like the Marines of the LGBT movement’
RuPaul has wearily accepted that LGBT rights probably won’t progress much farther beyond where they are now — at least, not anytime soon.
The celebrity drag queen spoke to Metro Weekly in a wide-ranging interview on fame, politics and human rights.
“It’s been my experience and my observation that humans on this planet feel more comfortable with fear rather than love and openness,” he says. “I’m not trying to be a downer, but I’m always cautious of what humans are capable of doing.”
The 55-year-old reality TV star and pop singer will host a new game show, “Gay for Play,” on Logo, the LGBT-focused cable channel that has broadcast his popular “Drag Race” show for eight seasons — although he’s not sure what impact his fame has had on the broader culture.
“I try not to think about the broader culture and what influences it,” RuPaul said. “I just do what I do, and I have fun, and that’s it. That’s how I approach everything. I mean, the broader culture is very excited about Donald Trump. What does that say about the broader culture?”
RuPaul declined to take the bait and discuss his fellow reality TV star, who’s now the Republican presidential candidate, or the man he might replace in the White House.
“You want to talk about Obama and Donald Trump?” RuPaul said. “Everybody talks about that shit. You’re talking to f*cking RuPaul!”
He said real change comes at the personal level, and not at the political level.
“I have no faith in politics or Washington,” RuPaul said. “I don’t look to them to determine how free I am, or how I view myself as equal. Because they will never get it. They don’t have the software or the hardware to understand what that’s really about.”
He’s not entirely optimistic that the LGBT rights movement will advance and sustain any revolutionary changes, because he said all revolutions eventually return to the status quo.
“In different times, people start walking on their hind legs like the pigs in Animal Farm and they forget where the strength came from,” RuPaul said. “Their true colors come out over time. Another part of that is that people end up forgetting why they had a revolution in the first place. It becomes very clear that people really just want [what they had before]. The new boss, same as the old boss.”
He said drag queens were true catalysts for change, because they challenged the essential nature of identity “in an ego-based culture.”
“I’ve said this before, drag queens are like the Marines of the LGBT movement,” RuPaul said. “We suit up, we show up, and we’re always ready to serve — and we don’t get that credit.”
He said drag mocks too many cultural sacred cows to ever become part of the mainstream.
“Drag queens will never be accepted, and acceptance isn’t what drag wants,” RuPaul said. “Other people may want acceptance — drag does not. Drag, its purpose is to remind the culture to not take itself too seriously. Our creed is, don’t take life too f*cking seriously.”