RuPaul Charles, the world’s most famous and influential drag performer, is on the cover of Entertainment Weekly’s annual LGBT Pride issue.
Inside the new issue, on stands Friday, Ru gives a complete oral history of of his life and career, revisiting 25 years’ worth of game-changing LGBTQ movies, TV, and music.
“It was a brilliant f*cking show and way before its time,” Michelle Visage says about 1996’s The RuPaul Show. “I mean, we had a TV show with a drag queen and his best girl friend being clowns, taking the piss out of life and out of pop culture.
“It’s a real milestone in my career,” Ru says in a new EW video. “It means that so many people get to hear the message. Aside from the pretty clothes, all the colors and laughter the message really is be yourself, love yourself and enjoy your time on this planet.”
“Ru’s contribution to drag is unique in that Ru presented himself as pretty, and the only way that the mainstream had embraced drag was to have [men] in Some Like It Hot doing drag because they were hiding,” Drag legend Lady Bunny tells EW. “Tootsie, where Dustin Hoffman does drag because he’s unable to find work. Mrs. Doubtfire. There was always a reason a man had to do drag. Ru didn’t need a reason. The reason was, ‘I’m gorgeous. I’m a supermodel.’ That was a huge benchmark for him to say, ‘I want to do drag because I look great—don’t you agree?’ And for the world to say, ‘Yes.’”