We know you’re probably still gagged by last week’s shocking episode of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars, but tonight’s episode is historic in an entirely different way thanks to a little help from Nancy Pelosi.
That’s right. Pelosi’s visit to the workroom to meet the queens marks the first time ever that a sitting member of Congress has sashayed onto Drag Race—and she looked fabulous doing it. It was a welcome fit for the 77-year-old political icon who has spent her career fighting for LGBTQ rights. Whether it was voting against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 or receiving three consecutive 100% ratings from the Human Rights Campaign for her political positions, Pelosi has earned her place in the famed Drag Race workroom.
The representative of California’s 12th district (including all of San Francisco) wasn’t just on the show to serve looks, of course. At a time when the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress are working to strip away the rights of LGBTQ people, her appearance tonight is a beacon for the fight for equality.
While she took a break from the gridlock of Washington, we caught up with the Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives to talk about authenticity, RuPaul’s brilliant beauty, and crossword puzzles.
OUT: How did you end up on RuPaul’s Drag Race?
Nancy Pelosi: I got the invitation and was thrilled to receive it and couldn’t resist accepting it.
Do you keep up with the show?
I don’t watch TV. (Laughs) I don’t have any time—I’m always busy! I’ll watch it tonight though to see Drag Race. I’m a fanatic for crossword puzzles and the only time I have trouble is when they have a TV question.
Whether I watch TV or not, I am a big fan of RuPaul. I think he’s just great. He’s brilliant and beautiful and strategic. He’s an idealist.
Have you gone to any drag shows before?
I’ve been to events where there were drag shows going on. In San Francisco, every year we have one of the biggest drag demonstrations. It’s our Pride parade and I’ve been going to it for decades. I want everyone to see it because it’s beautiful. We’ve got a lot of drag queens in the parade.
Photo courtesy of VH1.
How does it feel to be the first sitting member of Congress on Drag Race?
Oh, I’m the first one? Good for me! I didn’t know that. That’s more of a compliment than I thought. I’m even more pumped for getting an invitation to be on the show now. (Laughs) I enjoyed the afternoon we spent together there and although my piece in the show is very small, I did have an opportunity to meet the contestants and hear their stories. It went beyond what’s shown in the episode.
Was there any moment that stuck out to you from meeting the queens?
They were just all wonderful and lovely and authentically who they are. They’re taking pride in who they are. I always tell people that the most important thing you can convey is your authenticity. Be yourself. That’s who they are and they’re a model for everyone else. Of course, it’s also an act of art. The queens are artists.
What’s really most important is that we understand that there’s no place in our country for any discrimination of any kind in the LGBTQ community. The administration’s rollbacks with transgender troops in the military and gender identity in school bathroom discrimination are shameful. But again, Republicans in Congress have been there a long time and been worse but now they’ve got their guy in the White House to enact some of these rollbacks, but we’re not deterred.