You’re born naked, and the rest is drag.
RuPaul wrote this oft-quoted line in his 1995 autobiography, Lettin It All Hang Out, and now the famed drag queen, entertainer and host of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is opening up to Oprah about what his decades-long experience with drag has taught him about life.
As RuPaul says in the February issue of O, The Oprah Magazine and on the latest podcast for “Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations,” drag has been a powerful teaching tool for him on a level much deeper than anything aesthetic.
“What it teaches people is that ... all things are temporary,” RuPaul says. “Everything’s temporary: just clothes, some paint, powder – this body, even, is temporary.”
It’s a perspective RuPaul has held from a very young age. “I got that as a kid,” he says in the video below. “I was a young kid and I thought, ‘Is everybody getting that this is all kind of an illusion?’ And I couldn’t get anybody to corroborate with me.”
It doesn’t hide who you are. Drag actually reveals who you are.
In his pre-teen years, he found that vindication ― via Monty Python.
“When I was about 11 years old, on PBS, I found my tribe in [the sketch comedy show] ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus.’ I thought, ‘OK, they get it,’” RuPaul says. “They’re irreverent, they’re not taking anything seriously and they’re having fun! That’s what this is all about.”
Ultimately, RuPaul says that the eye-opening nature of drag can be felt by anyone of any background, gender or orientation. “On our show, we have this thing where we have the girls put [straight] guys in drag, and what emerges is really phenomenal,” RuPaul says. “It doesn’t hide who you are. Drag actually reveals who you are.”
O, The Oprah Magazine’s February issue hits newsstands on January 16.