Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-10-16
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Transnation: Bush is out, RuPaul is in
by Jacob Anderson-Minshall

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

"We all played a part in the Bush fiasco," maintains supermodel RuPaul Charles, remarking on the outgoing administration. "We can't just point the finger at what they did; we have to take responsibility for our part. That's the only way we can advance and expand."

Pictured: RuPaul. Photo by Emmanuel Garcia,

Back in the limelight with a new dance song/music video, "Cover Girl ( Put the Bass in Your Walk ) ," and a new reality show, RuPaul's Drag Race, Charles credits his new visibility to the Obama presidency.

"I thought it was time after these eight years with the Bush administration, these eight years of fear, that a new generation be introduced to drag, because … anything to do with gender experimentation in a fear-based period of time has to go underground because it's too scary. So re-introducing drag to a younger generation was important for me."

Already a chart-topping musician ( "Supermodel ( You Better Work ) " ) , a seasoned actor ( Starrbooty ) , a well-heeled talk show host ( VH1's The RuPaul Show ) , a cosmetics spokesmodel ( for MAC ) , a Barbie substitute ( as the RuPaul doll ) , a memoir author ( Letting it All Hang Out ) and the world's most famous drag queen, Charles adds the roles of reality-show host, mentor and judge with RuPaul's Drag Race.

In the series, nine professional female impersonators are vying for the chance to be "America's next drag superstar."

Charles, who self identifies simply as Ru, appears as both his masculine and feminine personalities on Drag Race. He's joined at the judges' table, by fashion journalist Merle Ginsberg, Project Runway designer Santino Rice, and a dozen guest judges, including queer favorites Lucy Lawless, Jenny Shimizu and Tori Spelling.

What sets the show apart, Charles maintains, is the courage the contestants display. "Anybody who's ever decided they're going to leave the house in high heels, lipstick and a plastic wig on … [ when ] they're a boy, is so courageous! It takes so much chutzpah to do that."

In fact, Charles argues, simply by suggesting our identities are malleable, drag is downright dangerous.

"Throughout the ages, [ cross-dressing ] has reminded our culture are not who you think you are. This is just a temporary package … and it's not to be taken seriously. Now, that knowledge threatens a lot of people who are so invested in their identity as a Christian or a Jew or as a black or as white or male, female, this, that. Drag is the antithesis of that. It's dangerous because if people accepted that message or really took it in, they would have to deconstruct who they are and … a lot of people don't have the guts to do that."

"Drag will always exist," Charles insists, despite the rise of gender bending and increasingly fluid self-identities. "It's really an enlightened state; that's why some of the gods in different religions have always had that duality. It's always compelling to see someone who is both strong and also nurturing. Drag [ queens and kings ] have always been the myth keepers of every culture, the witch doctors, the shamans."

For years Charles dodged the spotlight to focus on his family, and kept his distance from reality television, because, "I didn't want to do it if it were mean-spirited or derogatory."

Then Charles teamed up with the people behind his VH-1 show and says, "I knew that I was in safe hands. I knew that they felt the same way I did, that they would like to celebrate the people who dance to the beat of a different drummer." The result, RuPaul's Drag Race, premiered on Logo Feb. 2 at 9 p.m. CT.

Excited that "the time is right for me to be heard and be seen again," Charles also narrates the Starz channel documentary Ladies or Gentlemen, a history of cross-dressing in film, which premiered earlier this week and of featured commentary by the once controversial lesbian author Camille Paglia.

A career retrospective featuring Charles' most memorable gowns and ensembles is part of the RuPaul Drag Race art show—the largest exhibition by and about drag queens every assembled—currently on display at the World of Wonder Storefront Gallery, in Hollywood, California.

Trans author Jacob Anderson-Minshall is the author of Blind Faith, the latest Blind Eye mystery, which is already garnering rave reviews. To view the book trailer and find out more, check out .

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Transparent,' Tyler Perry, 'Drag Race,' singer Halsey 2019-10-15 - The soundtrack to Amazon Prime Video's The Transparent Musicale Finale—the movie musical fantasia of Jill Soloway's series Transparent—is available for streaming and digital ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Hillary and Chelsea disagree, coming-out study, Julian Castro 2019-10-15 - Hillary and Chelsea Clinton seemingly had a recent disagreement about transgender identity, The New York Post noted. In an interview with the Sunday ...

Gay News

Women & Children First targeted by anti-trans vandals 2019-10-14 - The windows at Women & Children First bookstore, 5233 N. Clark St., have been vandalized on multiple occasions with stickers featuring anti-trans messaging, ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Marriage advocate divorcing, Black gay couple, trans death 2019-10-08 - A Utah state lawmaker who filed a lawsuit that successfully overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage is separating from his husband, U.S. ...

Gay News

New York State veterans' services trained in LGBTQ cultural competency 2019-10-02 - WASHINGTON — Today, the Modern Military Association of America ( MMAA ) — the nation's largest non-profit organization for the LGBTQ military and ...

Gay News

WORLD Toronto rally, Russian activist's murder, Xavier Bettel, papal meeting 2019-10-01 - In Toronto, a rally promoting unity was held Sept. 28 in response to an anti-LGBTQ Christian group's march through the city's gay village, ...

Gay News

Quigley co-sponsors resolution denouncing Carson's transphobic history 2019-10-01 - U.S. Reps. Mike Quigley (D-Illinois) and Katie Hill (D-California) introduced a resolution denouncing Secretary of Housing & Urban Development Ben Carson as transphobic ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Trans actor, 'Judy,' 'Concert for America,' Dolly Parton 2019-10-01 - Trans actor Brian Michael Smith was one of three casting announcements made ahead of Fox's 9-1-1 spinoff, Lone Star, which debuts in January, ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Hospital lawsuit, LGBTs in Root 100, censure postponed 2019-10-01 - A California appeals court approved a lawsuit filed by a transgender man who claims staff at a Catholic hospital violated his civil rights ...

Gay News

Supreme Court preview: 'The stakes could not be higher' 2019-09-27 - Here's the blunt reality: The U.S. Supreme Court's rulings on three cases it will hear arguments about Tuesday, Oct. 8, could have the ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.