RuPaul: ‘Politically, it feels like our collective narrative has been abandoned’

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If there’s anyone who is not afraid to share his opinion, it’s RuPaul. And the outspoken 56-year-old host of my favorite reality show, RuPaul’s Drag Race, has a lot to say about the state of political affairs in our country. Ru, who is sure to get the Emmy again this year for Drag Race (mark my words), spoke with The Wrap about the show and his Emmy win, of which he said that even the nomination was “a real shock.” He went on to say that, although he didn’t think it was his “time” yet, “I know that what is happening in Washington has an effect on how people see the world. And because we’ve gone so horribly backwards in our government, I think people in Hollywood are reacting to that.”

RuPaul observed that television is finally coming around to telling positive stories from the LBGT community, and that the change is welcome.

There’s been a huge change, especially as television has emerged as our country’s storyteller. Television is witnessing the second golden age — that’s where everyone’s stories are told. It’s so important, especially in the current political climate, to reflect the promise of the American dream.

Politically, it feels like our collective narrative has been abandoned. This country was about acceptance and inclusion, about open hearts and open minds. And as the government has gone away from that, I believe television, movies, music, the arts have taken up the slack, as they always do.

[From The Wrap]

When asked if he wished the orange-hued person who is supposed to be running the country right now would watch Drag Race instead of Fox News, Ru replied, “No, not really.” He added, “There’s nothing that could be done there. Our focus is on young people, and helping them articulate what’s in their hearts. Our show creates a dialogue with young people who feel the gamut of emotions. We want to get to them before Fox News does.” And, through it all Ru remains committed to his purpose, saying his role in the world has “always been the same,” asserting that “Drag has always been there to remind people to not take life too seriously, to not take themselves too seriously.”

So, after Ru takes home an Emmy for both the show and for his hosting duties, what’s next for season 10 of Drag Race? Ru told Deadline that “We produce, plan and craft the show every year, but we can never anticipate what the contestants’ energy adds to the show. It’s always really new for us and exciting. In fact, that’s what keeps it exciting for me is these bright, courageous, incredible queens who come every season to not only tell their stories, but inspire everyone they’re around.” Am I the only one who is excited to see how Ru is going to top season 9?

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16 Responses to “RuPaul: ‘Politically, it feels like our collective narrative has been abandoned’”

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  1. Talie says:

    I *love* his podcast.

  2. littlemissnaughty says:

    I love him so much and I love Drag Race. First and foremost, it is ALWAYS entertaining and the contestants are never boring. Also, and I can only think of Project Runway as the second show for which this is true, they all have skills and talent. Not to mention the stories they come with. I really do admire these guys. It takes guts to do drag when you come from a small(-ish) town.

  3. JackieJormpJomp says:

    He is such a together, thoughtful person.

    • Esmom says:

      Yes, love him. And love what he said about getting to the young people before Fox does.

      A conservative mom I know just sent her oldest off to college, where I went to school. I asked which dorm he’d be living in. She said it was in the Catholic center, even though they are not Catholic, because he felt he would be “safest” there. I kinda nodded at her, didn’t even want to engage by asking what he needed to be safe from. Liberal brainwashing, I guess! I didn’t want to tell her that plenty of the Catholic kids were liberals, hope he meets some awesome ones.

      • JackieJormpJomp says:

        Well, if this comforts you at all:

        Catholics tend toward the more philosophical and figurative interpretations of the bible. On average, they are not as fundamentalist as many other Christian churches. It might be a good gateway to liberal ideas for someone raised very religiously.

      • Esmom says:

        JJJ, thanks for the link. I grew up Catholic so I agree with it not being nearly as fundamentalist. I’ve not been involved with it for decades now but my sense was that it may have gotten more conservative as of late. For example, of all the schools in our town to hold mock elections, the only one Trump won was at one of the Catholic schools. By a landslide. And yet the Pope denounced him, so who knows.

        In any case, I hope this young man opens his mind to ideas beyond just what his parents seem to have programmed into him.

      • Veronica says:

        It also depends on the area and demographics, IMO. My mother actually left our local Catholic church recently because she got fed up with their stance on abortion, birth control, and women’s issues over all. (Her breaking point was when they put up a list of sins, and female priests was listed in the same area as child abusers. She was livid.) My mom’s in her sixties, but a lot of the congregation is older and She Just Can’t with their attitudes.

      • Meredith says:

        I believe it was on 538 before the election, but I saw a graph plotting where major religious groups fall on the political spectrum. Jewish people and Muslim people have very high numbers of Democrats. Evangelicals have very high numbers of Republicans. And Catholics are evenly split among Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. I went to a very liberal Catholic high school (they were pro-life, but they were also anti-death penalty and anti-war), but at the same time you also have Mel Gibson’s super conservative sect.

      • jwoolman says:

        Heretical surviver of 16 years of Catholic education here. There may be a fundamentalist wing of the Catholic Church now, but ordinarily they are far more nuanced than typical American fundamentalists on various issues of commonality. And their theologians have pointed out that not everything that is immoral has to be illegal, which is why devout Catholics can run for office as Democrats without a qualm and also don’t have to be dead set against keeping abortion legal. It’s still an individual choice, no one is forcing someone to have an abortion and medical people are protected from taking part in elective abortions or preparations for them, according to their conscience.

        If people who bomb thousands and hundreds of thousands of people at a crack are acceptable to the Christian churches, it seems a tad strange to get so lathered about an individual woman deciding to abort an embryo or fetus that has such a slim chance of making it to birth anyway. The Catholic Church actually wasn’t in such a lather about it a couple of hundred years ago, which makes it a recent focus for them. It wasn’t recommended (herbs to induce abortion were listed in standard medical texts as late as the 19th Century) but it wasn’t a major focus.

        Even the celibate male clergy is not considered an absolute. It’s a very strong tradition, but there will be female and/or married Catholic priests once enough Catholics want them. Decades ago, women started carrying the Eucharist (the wheat wafers consecrated by a priest) to give communion to people when priests were not available. Married converts ordained in such denominations as the Anglican Church (the ones that are Catholic in everything but the Pope and have an unbroken line of bishops ordaining priests) have been accepted as Catholic priests. In some areas with acute priest shortages, the celibacy thing is simply discreetly overlooked (read some European history and you’ll see it has always been overlooked….). I read an interview with an American Catholic bishop decades ago who speculated that female priests may already have been ordained in secret. He said he expected a retired bishop with nothing to lose might do it and it would be binding.

        The Polish Pope was apoplectic about girls being altar servers at Mass rather than the traditional boys and ordered American parishes to cut it out. Not everybody did…. I really expected a schism at that point, the guy was so out of tune with the Catholic Church in the US. I know individual priests who gladly give communion to anybody who wants it, regardless of religious affiliation,
        rather than just to Catholics in good standing as the old men in the Vatican think is proper. The Catholic Church may seem slow as molasses to change officially, but actually localized change is occurring all the time at a much faster pace. That’s not cherry picking but very normal if you look at Church history. The infallibility of the people as a whole is an important concept in Catholicism and typically the other two types of infallibility (of the bishops as a whole and the pope under strictly defined circumstances) are invoked only in response to the widespread beliefs of the people as a whole. The idea is that God would not deceive the Church as a whole.

        Catholics also don’t take the Bible literally and so don’t get twisted up trying to justify everything in it. It’s a translation from a culture that specialized in exaggeration stories to make various moral points. I can’t remember any emphasis in Catholic schools at any level on the crazy violent Jesus of the Second Coming that seems to dominate some fundamentalist Protestant thinking. I don’t know if they just didn’t include that in their bible (various denominations have different lists of sacred books to be included in the bible and they have changed over the millennia), or if it was in some book considered rather mystical, cryptic, and very metaphorical, or if I had just had dismissed it as so ridiculous that I didn’t even pay attention to it. Definitely my teachers had no trouble saying that the actions of such and such a “biblical hero” were just plain wrong in literal terms, such as the guy willing to kill his son when God commanded it. The story was meant to make a point, not advise killing your kid if you hear voices in your head saying to do so.

  4. the_blonde_one says:

    Rupaul is one of my favorite people in the universe. So thoughtful, insightful and intelligent all wrapped up in a sense of humor.

  5. Singtress says:

    Random: The thumbnail glance had me thinking it was Bernadette Peters for a second.

  6. Kristen says:

    I love him!

  7. Vinot says:

    All Stars 3 is gonna be the topper, come on Shangie!!!

  8. jwoolman says:

    RuPaul is always worth listening to about anything. He isn’t just an incredibly talented entertainer (I honestly didn’t realize his female character was not a birthright woman when I first saw her in a skit, he’s that good), but also a very careful observer and thinker and very articulate. Add him to list of people who would make a much better President than Trump… OK, maybe that’s too low a bar. My Senior Cat would make a much better President than Trump, with no government experience at all but more willingness to learn.