RuPaul on Marriage Equality: We Live in an Era of Openness, But That Window Could Close

Ru Paul Marriage Equality
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Singer and actor RuPaul has made over a dozen albums, and hosts Logo’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” In 1999, he was GLAAD’s entertainer of the year.

What is the role of Hollywood in shaping the conversation about same-sex marriage?

Hollywood does not have a moral obligation; Hollywood has a monetary obligation. Hollywood is a reflection of how people live their lives. It doesn’t dictate. I always laugh when people try to blame everything on Hollywood. Hollywood is reflecting our spending habits.

Will drag culture become mainstream?

Drag will always live on the fringe, because at its core it mocks the matrix; it mocks identity. It will never be mainstream because most people can’t accept the idea that they are not who it says they are on their driver’s license or their birth certificate. It’s a concept that would force them to deconstruct their whole belief system, and no one’s going to do that.

In the late ’80s, could you have imagined same-sex marriage being legalized?

Yeah. I absolutely would have imagined that. I’ve been on the planet for a few years now, and everything’s cyclical. These windows of openness are literally that: They open and they close. During the disco era we thought: “Oh my God, this is great; we’re going to be like this forever!” Think again. It shut down so fast, people’s heads were spinning. It didn’t go away, it just changed its name and address. There was a certain degree of openness that happened during the Obama era; certainly during the Clinton era, and during the late ’70s. But humans feel more comfortable in fear than they do in love and openness. So did I expect this (marriage equality) to happen? Yeah! It’s obvious. If I’m paying taxes, you better g–damn well give me the same rights that everybody else gets.

Show business is not dictated by ideology, but should it be different?

No, it shouldn’t. We were raised with the idea of fairness and equality that is quite frankly juvenile. Kindergartners are raised with “One for you, one for me.” But that isn’t how nature works. The strong survive and the weak will fall away. So if (a show makes) money, it’ll keep going. If it’s not making money, it won’t have the support system. That’s the law of nature. Should media make everything this fairy-tale idea of fairness? No. That’s not what it’s there for. If that’s what you want, you teach your kids that. You don’t get that from television, you get that from your parents. And if you’re a parent and you can’t teach your kid that, don’t have a f–cking kid.

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    1. HE BGB says:

      Hollywood influences people some more than others. Kids are the most unjudgemental because hate and prejudice are learned. Having gay characters on TV and in movies has definitely changed society. Bigotry is based on ignorance that leads to hate, what we don’t understand we Re afraid of,

    2. Nanny Mo says:

      We don’t live in an age of openness. We only tolerate one view and it’s the so-called “open minded one.” But, disagree with the progressive of the month and you are likely to be fired or have your business shut down. That is not fair and open.

    3. RuPaul – “I always laugh when people try to blame everything on Hollywood.” He’s wrong on that, Hollywood has the greatest influence on kids especially. Hollywood needs to stop throwing homosexuality in societies faces. And kids are the ones who’ve become so confused because they’re to young to know the difference.

      • David Li says:

        If you don’t want your children exposed to the subject matter then don’t allow them to watch it. Simply stopping the creation of storytelling innfilm and television where gay and lesbian characters are included won’t change anything, and we can’t all live in this bubble of kidfriendly media. Adults exist too you know, and adult entertainment is just as important as children’s entertainment.

        Long story short, I’m tired of people saying they don’t want gay and lesbian characters represented in the media for “the sake of the children” when in actuality its the adults that have the most issues with it. Even more, LGBT teens and youth that are coming up won’t be able to see themselves in the media. Just like black, asian, and Hispanic characters are also scarce. How is that fair to kids growing up, as it shows them that they are not important enough to make it onto the television. Like you said, Hollywood can be very influential. It works both ways.

    4. Michael says:

      Thank you. Someone famous finally said what I wrote in my book the provocateur, years ago. Everything is cyclical! Look through history. We’ve been through this cycle before.

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