During an appearance on NBC's TODAY show Friday morning, drag mega-star RuPaul Charles spoke about the recent anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment across the country that has had a particular focus on the art of drag performance.
The Emmy-winning drag queen and host of RuPaul's Drag Race told Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager that he has to center himself to cope with the negativity.
"It's such a tragedy how our country has become so divided, and it really breaks my heart," RuPaul said. "I pray for our country and the world, really, and I still believe in the power of love."
Republicans have sponsored at least eight bills to limit and even criminalize drag performance in public, according to GLAAD.
One thing is sure for RuPaul: his show has opened the door to success for many young, queer people who otherwise would not have had the opportunity for large-scale exposure.
RuPaul's Drag Race has become a global phenomenon since it launched in 2009 with spinoffs in 16 countries. The show has given mainstream legitimacy to the art of drag and has made A-list celebrities out of contestants who have appeared on the show.
"We started the show as a celebration of drag, to celebrate the art of drag, and also the courageous hearts of these kids who come up from homes -- a lot of times they're thrown out of their homes -- but they find a place on our show, and they find an audience," he told Kotb and Bush Hager. "And they are traveling the world. They're doing their own shows, movies. They're doing it all. It's great."
RuPaul's Drag Race season 15 begins on MTV on January 6.