When it comes to America’s legendary drag mother RuPaul, you either think she’s amazingly wonderful drag ambassador introducing folks everywhere to important aspects queer culture or you believe rumors that she’s secretly a horrible monster who treats her army of assistants like a fabulously-styled tyrant. No matter which side you stand on, we can all agree that when the characteristically bubbly host Drag Race gets down in the dumps, it must be pretty serious.
That’s why so many people have taken notice of RuPaul’s quote this week bemoaning Trump’s election; it’s not her usual brand of irreverent optimism:
“Last night I woke up at 1:30 in the morning and I remembered what happened and I couldn’t get back to sleep. It’s sad. I’m still so heartbroken over it. It feels like the death of America. The America that we have all fought so hard for, the narrative of love and peace and liberty and equality, it feels like it is dead.”
She’s certainly not the only one who feels like this, though it’s important to point out that she also grew up in a government project during the end of the Civil Rights era and through the entire Nixon-Vietnam era. She has lived through the height of the AIDS/HIV epidemic and eight years of the rabidly anti-queer Bush administration. Thus, she has witnessed America’s enduring spirit and how capable it is of overcoming intense hatred, demagoguery and injustice. Of course, you can also say that in spite of all that, she still finds feels distressed because she considers this moment as far worse than anything before it.
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