For decades, RuPaul has been universally known as an icon in the drag queen community. His Emmy award-winning show “RuPaul’s Drag Race” has helped give recognition to the LGBTQ+ community while also normalizing the practice of drag. While his accomplishments are plenty, RuPaul’s recent activity on Twitter has left fans questioning his opinion of what is acceptable as drag.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, RuPaul stated that drag loses a sense of “danger” and “irony” when the queens are not men. Later on, he posted a tweet comparing transgender drag queens to athletes using performance-enhancing drugs in the Olympics. Needless to say, this sparked outrage among the LGBTQ+ and drag communities.
Several drag queens that hit it big on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” responded to his remarks by showing support for transgender queens. Many pointed out how many queens on the show were transgender, one being Jinkx Monsoon who took the crown in season five. Willam, one of the more well-known drag queens from the show, called out RuPaul by stating in a tweet he is “constantly learning from her…how not to behave.”
Noticing the effect his tweets had on his supporters, RuPaul attempted to apologize. His apologetic tweet unfortunately caused even more problems.
After posting a tweet stating that the transgender queens who came before him are his teachers, the tweet posted afterward confused and disappointed fans. In an attempt to post a picture of the transgender pride flag, RuPaul seemingly googled “train” accidentally. The picture above is a painting titled “Train Landscape” by artist Ellsworth Kelly. People are still questioning whether this was intentional or a terrible lack of judgment.
The drama surrounding this event has yet to be resolved, but the drag community is still as strong as ever. Queens have shown their solidarity since RuPaul’s comments have emerged, encouraging transgender queens to continue expressing themselves.
There’s no denying the fact that transgender queens have moved mountains for the drag community; most queens at the beginning of its history were transgender themselves. It seems that RuPaul should be taking advice from one of the most influential quotes of his own: “we’re born naked, and the rest is drag.”