The Rage Monthly spoke with the venerable performer about how she has embraced the “you better work” lyric from Mama Ru’s 1993 song “Super- model” in relation to her various projects, how she works hard for the munty, so hard for it hunty and finding the funny in a not-so-funny time.
Which participant’s story on We’re Here struck the strongest emotional chord with you and why? For me, it was definitely Farmington, New Mexico. I think it was just the
community and it was like everyone came together to make this happen. It was really amazing!
And how excited are you that the show has resonated with audiences so much that it will be back for a second season? It’s so amazing. It’s a mix of that
it feels so right and also it feels insane that I have a show on HBO that is reaching millions.
Why do you think that drag has become such a staple on TV? That’s a good question. I don’t
know what it is about drag that’s resonating. I think that drag is a huge factor in queer culture and the queer community has been, in large part, embracing of people who feel like they’re on the fringe. If you feel like a fringe person, then in the drag community you can find a community and wholeness.
What would you say is the most valuable lesson that you learned from your time on RuPaul’s Drag Race? It’s really interesting, for years
I’ve heard, ‘If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love anybody else?’ And it never resonated with me. Then one day all of the sudden after filming it, I was at home watching an old episode of Drag Race and when I heard RuPaul say it, and in that moment I was like, ‘Oh my God, now I get it!’ It’s more than a catchphrase.
Which topics will you be covering, and giving your comedic spin on, for your comedy special? I mostly talk about my family, growing up queer in the South, growing up queer
and black in the South. They [his family] never say anything about them being off-limits. It’s all from the things I respect, and I’m not going to try to get in the way of certain things.
In a time that is definitely devoid of comedy, how do you find the funny in life right now? I definitely find it to be a coping mechanism I’ve used, and it has helped me. Humor, jokes, stand-up are as much an art form as serious movies. But I’ve also been tending to focus on black joy more than black despair. There’s been a lot of black despair, not only in just the last couple of months, but for a long time there’s been a lot of black despair that’s been sneaking towards black joy.
How did you become involved with Drag My Dad and what do you hope is the audience takeaway from watching the show? MTV reached out to me and asked me what I thought [about the show’s premise], and it sounded really fun and it shoots right there in New York City. And people get a chance, on a really short-form level, to talk about things in their lives, talking about relationships they have with their parent or sometimes their siblings. And the drag itself helps them go into a place that’s more honest.
Finally, how does it feel to be busier than a hooker on dollar day?
[Laughs] I think I’m as busy as photo by Jacobs Ritts
Dr. Fauci at this point in time! I like working and am really into working hard and working often. There are times when I’m like, ‘Ooh,
I need a break!’ And then when I take a break and then pick back up and it’s time to hit the ground running again.
m August 2020 | @theragemonthly 21
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