Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Gentleman, start your engines...

So I was contemplating the other day the various phases I have gone through in terms of accepting myself, and not being afraid of who I am. When I first accepted that I was gay and then came out to family and friends, I always felt this need to add a disclaimer that I was never going to be "one of those gays." Not that my music collection wasn't already overrun with Pet Shop Boys and Madonna, nor my swimsuit drawer filled with skimpy bathing suits, or my mannerisms, well perhaps a little flamboyant. But for some reason I wanted to convince myself and others that I wasn't "that gay."

Gay pride parades? No thanks. Gay bars and clubs? Never. Every time I learned something about gay society that I previously was unaware of, I was almost proud of being ignorant of these segments of gay culture. Well let me just say it now, I love RuPaul's Drag Race. I am seriously in love with this show. Ever since the first West Hollywood Costume Caranval that Max and I attended, I have been mildly fascinated with drag culture and I think RuPaul's Drag Race is fantastic.

After I watched a couple of episodes of season 2, I realized that I was quite ignorant of RuPaul and I became curious of how he became famous. I remember knowing about him since I was a kid, so I did a little internet research to find out where he got his start. I was quite surprised by what I learned about him from Wikipedia, but even more fascinating was an interview I found online that he had given a couple years back. Based on what I have read, RuPaul appears to be a very intelligent and articulate person. I don't know why I would have assumed anything else, but I guess I had my own preconceived ideas of what kind of person he was. The following dialogue I found especially interesting as it relates to my own person experiences. DS is the interviewer, and RP is RuPaul:

DS: It seems like years ago, and my recollection might be fuzzy, but it seems like I read a mainstream media piece that talked about how you wanted to break out of the RuPaul 'character' and be seen as more than just RuPaul.

RP: Well, RuPaul is my real name and that’s who I am and who I have always been. There’s the product RuPaul that I have sold in business. Does the product feel like it’s been put into a box? Could you be more clear? It’s a hard question to answer.

DS: That you wanted to be seen as more than just RuPaul the drag queen, but also for the man and versatile artist that you are.

RP: That’s not on target. What other people think of me is not my business. What I do is what I do. How people see me doesn’t change what I decide to do. I don’t choose projects so people don’t see me as one thing or another. I choose projects that excite me. I think the problem is that people refuse to understand what drag is outside of their own belief system. A friend of mine recently did the Oprah show about transgendered youth. It was obvious that we, as a culture, have a hard time trying to understand the difference between a drag queen, transsexual, and a transgender, yet we find it very easy to know the difference between the American baseball league and the National baseball league, when they are both so similar. We’ll learn the difference to that. One of my hobbies is to research and go underneath ideas to discover why certain ones stay in place while others do not. Like Adam and Eve, which is a flimsy fairytale story, yet it is something that people believe; what, exactly, keeps it in place?

DS: What keeps people from knowing the difference between what is real and important, and what is not?

RP: Our belief systems. If you are a Christian then your belief system doesn’t allow for transgender or any of those things, and you then are going to have a vested interest in not understanding that. Why? Because if one peg in your belief system doesn’t work or doesn’t fit, the whole thing will crumble. So some people won’t understand the difference between a transvestite and transsexual. They will not understand that no matter how hard you force them to because it will mean deconstructing their whole belief system. If they understand Adam and Eve is a parable or fairytale, they then have to rethink their entire belief system.

As to me being seen as whatever, I was more likely commenting on the phenomenon of our culture. I am creative, and I am all of those things you mention, and doing one thing out there and people seeing it, it doesn’t matter if people know all that about me or not.

I really think he is spot on in his assessment of religious people and is quite accurate for many Mormons, at least it was for me. Also, the idea that people refuse to get to know people because it will require them to deconstruct their false ideas is something that I have encountered quite often. Overall, I was quite impressed with what he said.

Anyway, if you don't get Logo, I recommend that you go online and watch the shows, I promise they are not as icky as you were raised to believe, and the show overall is very entertaining. Oh, and you heard it here first, Raven is going to win the race. She is absolutely beautiful, and if you have seen the show and know me, you will know why I love her so much.

1 comment:

Max Power said...

It's time to lip sync for your life!

And remember, don't f*** it up!