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RuPaul Says Drag Stopped Being Fun When He Became Famous

RuPaul on Seth's late night show.

So that's the trade off?

MikelleStreet

By this point we all know that drag is RuPaul's job. He rarely does it if he's not getting paid -- or possibly appearing on Saturday Night Live. He wouldn't even do it for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's annual red carpet gala. And while that surely makes it special whenever he does do it outside of the RuPaul's Drag Race studios, it has to be more than just novelty. Well, now the reigning queen of drag has revealed another possible contributing factor: it's no longer fun now that he's a celebrity.

"When I got famous, that's when the drag fun ended for me, honestly" RuPaul said in an interview on Late Night With Seth -- yes, he's still on the press tour circuit. "I couldn't terrorize y'alls neighborhoods anymore because I became the face of drag!" That fame notably came to a head when Ru released "Covergirl" and started a slew of cameos in television shows and movies, but it should be noted that he started accruing it 38 years ago when he had his first television appearance via Atlanta public access television series The American Music Show.

"That's quite a burden I would imagine," Seth Myers responded. The two had previously been discussing the craziness and "danger" of New York City until Mayor Rudy Giuliani effectively shut down the New York City. Ru had exited that scene because of his rising celebrity.

"Well, you know I had to act nice and Christian and everything, as much I could," Ru responded. And according to him, making that change was important to his current success.

"I've always been ambitious and I've always liked to look under the hood to see how things actually worked," RuPaul explained of how he created his current persona. "So I knew that if I was was going to do drag and make it above 14th Street so to speak, I had to calculate the image. What I did was I had one part Dolly Parton to two parts Cher, one part David Bowie and a big heaping spoonful of Diana Ross.

"Then I took the subversive sexuality out of my persona so Betty and Joe Beercan could invite me into their living room and you know what it worked," he said. Yes mam, it did.

In addition to everything else he has going on (RuPaul's Drag Race season 12 which will apparently introduce half its queens in the first episode and the second half in the second episode as well as RuPaul's Drag Race: Live in Vegas) Ru announced that he has an upcoming Master Class where he teaches students about drag in a digital series. A working woman!

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Mikelle Street

Mikelle is the former editorial director of digital for PrideMedia, guiding digital editorial and social across Out, The Advocate, Pride.com, Out Traveler, and Plus. After starting as a freelancer for Out in 2013, he joined the staff as Senior Editor working across print and digital in 2018. In early 2021 he became Out's digital director, marking a pivot to content that centered queer and trans stories and figures, exclusively. In September 2021, he was promoted to editorial director of PrideMedia. He has written cover stories on Ricky Martin, Miss Fame, Nyle DiMarco, Jeremy O. Harris, Law Roach, and Symone.

Mikelle is the former editorial director of digital for PrideMedia, guiding digital editorial and social across Out, The Advocate, Pride.com, Out Traveler, and Plus. After starting as a freelancer for Out in 2013, he joined the staff as Senior Editor working across print and digital in 2018. In early 2021 he became Out's digital director, marking a pivot to content that centered queer and trans stories and figures, exclusively. In September 2021, he was promoted to editorial director of PrideMedia. He has written cover stories on Ricky Martin, Miss Fame, Nyle DiMarco, Jeremy O. Harris, Law Roach, and Symone.