NPR Hails 'Legendary' Drag Queen for 'Wisdom Watch' Segment on When Boys Can Wear Dresses

NPR's Tell Me More host Michel Martin has a "Wisdom Watch" segment, and on Thursday it featured the "legendary entertainer" RuPaul -- cable television's most famous drag queen. (He has a show on Viacom's LGBT channel Logo.) The interview lasted 12 and a half minutes.

Martin asked if the future would be brighter: "Do you envision a time if you and I were to get together – however long, five years from now, 10 years from now, 20 - when a little boy who wanted to wear a dress to school could do it and it wouldn't be big -- wouldn't be huge?"

RuPaul replied: "I think there will be a time when that's possible. But I can't believe in my lifetime how we've regressed in certain areas of our consciousness. So I think there will be a time - probably soon. But I think that those, like I said, those windows close very quickly."

Earlier, the windows analogy came when the Bush administration seemed hostile to "outside the box" thinkers:

MARTIN: Curious, though, about "RuPaul's Drag Race," because you were quoted a couple of years ago saying you did not want to do a reality show because you thought they would be demeaning and it would - demeaning was the word? Did I have the word right?

RUPAUL: Well, no, no. During the Bush administration, there was a hostility toward anyone who was thought outside the box. So there was a certain hostility, and I didn't want to do it if it was going to be mean-spirited or if it was want to be, you know, sort of talked down. But times changed and the window of opportunity opened, and that's when we're able to do this TV show. In fact, when I first hit in '92, '93, you know, Clinton was - got into office, and there was a window of openness, and what's strange about that is how quickly these windows close.

Martin concluded by oozing the praise:

MARTIN: Well, we, as we said, it's really been a pleasure speaking with you and I appreciate it. And we call this segment the Wisdom Watch, where we do ask, do you have some wisdom? And you can direct that to whomever you wish. I mean it could be a young you. It could be a young person listening to our conversation who maybe isn't sure where he or she fits in, or just somebody who's got the creative flair.

RUPAUL: Absolutely. And I, this is something - this is my daily mantra - sometimes minute by minute mantra, which is love yourself. Learn to love yourself. And stay in this moment. This moment right here is where your power is. If you drift into the past or into the future, you lose your power and your ability to love yourself. So this moment right now, be kind and love yourself.

MARTIN: RuPaul is a legendary entertainer. His program "RuPaul's Drag Race" is in its fourth season on the Logo Channel, and he was kind enough to join us from NPR New York. Thank you so much for joining us.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis