U Better Learn
BY Michelle Garcia
June 20 2011 11:30 AM ET
RuPaul Charles has certainly done more than his share to bring the riveting world of drag to the masses. From his beginnings to the New York circuit to iconic music and his lasting media infiltration, RuPaul has emerged as an entertainment mogul. Now he's bringing us all along for quite the educational ride. Many may be familiar with RuPaul's Drag Race on Logo, the tumultuous, dramatic and exceedingly entertaining quest to find America's next favorite drag queen. Now coming up for a second season is RuPaul's Drag U, a competition that merges feel-good Oprah-like makeovers with some serious sass, death-defying heels, and mile-long mink eyelashes. Gearing up for the season premiere of the show that gives women a boost with the guidance of some of our favorite Drag Racers (Raven, Manilla Luzon, and Shannel lead the lessons this Monday), RuPaul talks about the transformative powers of drag — and Carly Simon.
The Advocate: So how did you know that the female viewers of Drag Race were saying to themselves, Hey! I want to do that too?
RuPaul: Drag really is something that we are all doing. We're spiritual beings having an experience, and everyone on the planet is essentially creating a character. Drag also just reminds us to have fun. It's important to not take the character we've all created too seriously.
I am amazed at how conversations can get really contentious about our favorite queens on Drag Race. Do people confront you, appalled with any particular eliminations, or decisions to keep other queens?
No, I think people get very passionate about their favorites, but they're along for the ride, they see what's going down. They see, basically, people who don't come up to bat for the challenge. They may get passionate about it, but no one's really gotten combative to me about it. I think everyone understands that I want them all to succeed. I've basically handpicked each of them. Nobody's going to get through if I don't think they're ready to succeed as a star.
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