I think there is something truly amazing and spectacular about the drag mother of all drag mothers, RuPaul. And I want to talk about her for a minute, and how much I love her, if you will begrudge me. I don't think that RuPaul gets enough credit for the work she has done to move LGBT equality forward. To me, she has been at the forefront and never gotten the respect she deserves. Now, I get the sense sometimes that people look down on her, or pass her off. That her contributions to the LGBT movement are not as strong or as influential as, say, another pioneer. I find this to be a terribly misguided thought.
First off, this idea of who has done more, or who has done less, is reductive. It makes it seem like there is a hierarchy when it comes to contribution. What matters is progress. Progress on the Hill, progress in the streets, progress in the media. Every piece of it has a purpose. And it all flows into each other. And to say Ru has not done the same for us, just because she is not someone on Capitol Hill is neglecting her contribution. By being out, by getting her message to the world, by giving fellow queens a chance to shine, she moves the needle forward. She was on mainstream tv and film before many gay people were. She was out before many were. She didn't have fanfare. She didn't have a cover story. And despite all that, she was herself, through and through. The entire time. Her very presence was enough. She brought drag into Middle America living rooms. She got people talking. She owned who she was. And she loved herself.
She is an advocate in the truest sense of the word. She teaches people to believe in themselves. To build their own families. To leave the bad and find the good in their lives. Listening to any of her albums is its very own therapy session. She is a support, a beacon, a catalyst. She may not be a politician, or a lawyer, but what she preaches is vital and necessary. You watch her show and you feel good. She is brilliant, individual. She is someone special.
When I think of how far we have come, I think of her. She is on the tv, in music, out in the world. She teaches you to risk, to love yourself, to take life on your terms. She speak to the kid in Tennessee who doesn't what to do in a town full of bigots. She speaks to the girl in the Bronx who can't be out to her family. She is our truth, she is our hope. She is someone special. And she deserves to be honored for all that she has done for us.