At the recent Emmys, RuPaul’s Drag Race won six out of 10 nominations, including Outstanding Competition Program (the third consecutive win) and Outstanding Host for A Reality or Competition Program (the fifth consecutive win). A significant achievement, making it Emmys’ most awarded competition show ever – an impressive 19 victories across a 11-year run. Check out RuPaul’s acceptance speech below.
I was late to the game when it came to Drag Race but since the pandemic started, I’ve been catching up and am now obsessed. And I’m fascinated by how this totally camp (and hilarious) reality show featuring drag queens is so beloved and well-received. The show, and its many spin-offs, has a devoted cult-like following. Not only is it outrageous and funny, there is a distinct message RuPaul consistently delivers in every episode – one of self-acceptance and love.
If you’re a fan of the show, you’re familiar with the term “self-saboteur,” which is one that resonates with me personally because I’ve struggled with shame and low self-esteem for as long as I can remember. What RuPaul does so well, amid the engaging competition, is to have heartfelt conversations with the participating queens helping them work through past trauma and shame.
His encouraging message hasn’t changed over the years either. RuPaul has said himself that if you go back and look at old YouTube videos of him from back in the early 80s in NYC, he was always talking about expressing yourself and learning to love yourself. A message so many of us need to hear.
I read an article recently where Rupaul said that he felt he was always destined for something big in life, but in order to get there he knew he had to unlock the limiting views he had of himself. Since then, he has been passionate about helping those in the LGBTQ community extract their shame about being their authentic selves: “That’s why I always say you have to learn to love yourself. It takes practice. So through our show; through example, that is what my platform is: to take the shame out of being gay, out of being yourself.”
Such wise words. And the reason his platform is deserving of all the Emmys. Today, the Drag Race world is expanding, including international versions in the U.K., Canada (so good!) and the Netherlands. And the original version recently finished filming it’s 13th season and has begun filming the six season of All Stars. CAN’T WAIT.
Thank you, RuPaul for not only giving us amazing drag queens but also consistently delivering an important message – “If you can’t love yourself, HOW IN THE HELL are you supposed to love someone else.” Amen.