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Recently, dozens of stars of RuPaul's Drag Race joined together to record a message in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. One voice was notably absent from the chorus, however: RuPaul.
The Drag Race host has been silent on social media throughout the recent demonstrations in response to the killing of George Floyd and police brutality. He stopped posting on Twitter and Instagram in March when the stay-at-home orders began to go into effect in response to the health pandemic.
Whatever the reason for it, the silence of one of the world's most famous Black gay figures has been noted by some on social media as record-breaking protests in support of BLM have swept cities and towns around the world. Does RuPaul support the movement? What are his views?
Although one can't know the thoughts of RuPaul at present, The Advocate asked the famous drag performer about the demonstrations in 2016, after Black Lives Matter protesters disrupted the Toronto Pride march with a sit-in. RuPaul was a featured speaker at Pride that same day.
The Advocate asked at the time: Does he support these BLM demonstrations?
"People want to be heard. People feel powerless. And a lot of times, people will do a lot of different things to feel like they're part of a solution," RuPaul responded. "Sometimes, they make sense. Sometimes, those things don't make sense. But ultimately, people want to be involved. It's like when you run for the cure to something ... fill in the blank. Does that actually help cure? What it does is it makes the people involved feel like -- people who feel very powerless over this whatever -- it makes them feel like they're doing something.
"And so I support doing what makes you feel good about yourself, feel that you're not powerless. But is that solution? I'm not sure. I'm not sure if that's the ultimate -- because if you really sort it through, there is a solution. There is a solution. I'm not sure if those were the solutions."
The Advocate also asked RuPaul if he were ever fearful of interactions with the police. "I'm 55, always been Black, always been gay. I don't fuck with the police. I know that," he said. "I never had this illusion that the police was gonna be my friend. In fact, growing up with white folks, we'd be out partying or something, and my girlfriend would talk to the police -- I'm talking the 'girlfriend' being a drag queen -- who was like, 'You can't do this!' I'm like, 'Girl, you better come over here. Don't fuck with the police.' And see, I grew up knowing that.
"That's not changed in all these years. The only thing that's changed, and I think Chris Rock said this, the only thing that's changed is there's social media and people know about it. It's not any different than it ever was. It's just with social media, people are filming. Everybody's got a camera now."
Watch the conversation beginning at 11:53 below.