Drag queen RuPaul Charles (known professionally as “RuPaul”) is a large figure in the LGBTQ+ community, hosting the shows RuPaul’s Drag Race, Untucked!, and RuPaul’s Drag U. The shows are popular within the gay community due to taking a part of gay life, particularly drag queens, and bringing it into the mainstream. With his eye for marketing and loud, flamboyant nature, RuPaul’s work continues to inspire and resonate within the LGBTQ+ individuals of the world.
After living in Atlanta working odd jobs, RuPaul moved to New York, where he began performing flamboyant acts in clubs. He reached notoriety from his song “Supermodel (You Better Work)”. After gaining exposure from his musical career and being a spokesperson for MAC Cosmetics, he was given his own show for VH1, The RuPaul Show, where he performed sketches and stunts.
Eventually, he began doing his most famous show, RuPaul’s Drag Race, in 2009 for the television network LogoTV. Centered on RuPaul attempting to find the next big drag queen through competition and challenges, the show brought this lifestyle into the mainstream, thereby legitimizing a part of the previously oppressed LGBTQ+ community.
RuPaul was once labeled as the most successful and famous drag queen, and his contributions to the LGBTQ+ community cannot be understated. From humble upbringings to being able to bring legitimacy to something that would have been considered taboo and “wrong” in prior generations, his skill and presence is not understated. RuPaul has been around for a good amount of time, and will continue to inspire and mentor fellow drag queens for years to come.