RuPaul is a famous drag queen and talent show judge, but is he bilingual?
RuPaul’s parents both came from Louisiana, though he spent his childhood in California and later Georgia. It is not thought, therefore, that RuPaul speaks Spanish although there isn’t much evidence on which to make a conclusion.
Read more about RuPaul below.
RuPaul, full name RuPaul Andre Charles was born in California in 1960. He is one of four siblings, with three sisters.
At the age of seven, his parents divorced, and the children lived with only their mother. His relationship with his father became fraught, which he says influenced his career.
“The first half of my career was really about getting my father’s attention,” he explains. Though he has managed to accept the difficult relationship he shared with his late father.
“I also feel sorry for my father, who is no longer with us,” he says.
Following his parents’ separation, RuPaul spent his teenage years living with his older sister and her husband in Georgia. He began experimenting with drag when he started wearing his sisters’ clothes and was inspired by stars including Diana Ross.
He remains a fan of Ross, and he eventually had a chance encounter with her aboard a Concorde flight.
He describes himself as a “Sissy boy”, but says he did not suffer from bullying as a child. Though his family life was “Tumultuous,” he says the experience prepared him well for life.
“Navigating through that and keeping my equilibrium even as a child… I learned how to do that early on.”
While living with his sister, he enrolled at the Northside School of Performing Arts, which marked the beginnings of his theatrical career.
During the 80s and 90s, at the height of the AIDS crises, he worked at gay clubs. He saw young men, including a friend, losing their lives, but says he dealt with it by retaining a unique perspective.
“Yes, there’s awful things there and you will encounter them but learn how to laugh and enjoy it…Yes, you can focus on the darkness, it’s there, and you can focus on light. But one will bring you joy and one will bring you pain.”
As an adult, he met Georges LeBar in 1994, and the two have been in a long term relationship since. The couple chose not to marry for several years, with RuPaul explaining, “I don’t stand on ceremony, I never want to conform to anything.”
They did, however, tie the knot in 2017 on their 23rd anniversary.
In 1982, RuPaul asked the ‘The American Music Show’ if he could appear, sending a photo of himself to the channel. They accepted and he began performing on the show as part of the band RuPaul and U-Hauls.
A few years on, he relocated to New York and lived with Lady Bunny, a drag queen who founded Woodstock, a drag festival. “It’s important to remember that there’s a lot of people like Lady Bunny — and RuPaul is included in this — who paved the way for us and made it possible for there to be a show on television like ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race,’” the winner of RuPaul’s drag race, Alaska Thunderfuck, said about the festival.
By the early 1990s, RuPaul was becoming a hit in the clubs of New York, and in 1991, he bagged a record deal. In 1993, he released ‘Supermodel of the World’, his first album, leading with the single ‘Supermodel (You Better Work)’.
The track achieved sales success, reaching number 45 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
He landed roles in several movies and released an autobiography. Soon, he was given a talk show, ‘The RuPaul Show’, and still created music in the background.
The show that made him an internationally recognizable figure, ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’, first appeared on screens in 2009. Dozens of celebrity guest judges have appeared on the show, including Nicki Minaj, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Whoopi Goldberg,
In 2016, the show won an Emmy.
On some occasions, the show has been met with backlash by the trans community. “My intention is always coming from a place of love,” RuPaul says in response to this.
“Drag at its core is about reminding the culture to not take itself too seriously.”