Monday, February 11, 2013

Black History Month Spotlight: Ru Paul

Some of the greatest achievements in progression for any oppressed group have come from the powerful influences of music, humor, and art. Entertainers have a way of challenging their audience's perspectives and presenting relatable situations. Ru Paul is one such entertainer.


Ru Paul has earned a great deal of respect from me. There are more than enough challenges in America for black gays. To embrace femininity in such an extreme way while attacking those same challenges takes balls! 
Prior to Ru Paul's Drag Race, I didn't understand drag and often dismissed it as silly or unnecessary. Don't get me wrong, I would watch a drag show and be grateful for the entertainment, but I shared the same appreciation for clowns at the circus.
During the first season of his show, I found myself in awe and inspired by the artistry involved with doing drag. Around this same time, a few friends of mine "came out" to me as drag queens. I was initially shocked and a little disappointed that they felt like that was something they couldn't share with me. As often as I used to preach about how hateful and segregating the gay community can be, I learned I was displaying some of those same traits when ever I changed the subject or dismissed anything to do with drag queens. 

Through his music, Ru Paul promotes positive and encouraging messages about empowerment and unity. With every season of Ru Paul's Drag Race, Ru introduces to the world to a crew of gays that don't always fit into the "comfortable" categories of gays that the world or even fellow gays are used to. Ru Paul has been a major player in giving gays a common place in any community. 

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