RuPaul
Source: VH1

Ready, Set, Slay! Legendary Drag Queen RuPaul Has No Pronoun Preference

Mustafa Gatollari - Author
By

Jan. 20 2023, Updated 4:54 p.m. ET

When it comes to gender fluidity and the implementation of an individual's preferred pronouns, there have been huge strides made in recent years. One of the most popular streaming shows, Star Trek: Discovery, features non-binary actor Blu del Barrio, who plays Adira, the first non-binary character in a Star Trek series.

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Netflix's superhero series The Umbrella Academy sees fan-favorite Klaus, aka The Séance (Robert Sheehan), use "they/them" and "he/him" pronouns. And one of longest running reality TV series, RuPaul's Drag Race, is another example of mainstream gender-bending entertainment. With that said, we can't help but wonder: What are RuPaul's preferred pronouns?

rupaul walk of fame star
Source: Getty Images
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What are RuPaul's preferred pronouns?

RuPaul is, without a doubt, one of the biggest names synonymous with drag culture in the United States, if not the world. For many people, especially those with more "sheltered" upbringings (like myself), RuPaul was likely the first exposure they had to drag even existing.

But with 12 full-length studio albums and tons of seasons of Drag Race and its subsequent spinoffs (not to mention countless TV show and film appearances), the 12-time Emmy winner has not only managed to establish a heck of a career for himself but has also helped to bring drag into the mainstream. And although RuPaul is a drag icon, he doesn't necessarily ask to be identified as his gender-bending persona.

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He's written in his autobiography, which was published in 1995: "You can call me he. You can call me she. You can call me Regis and Kathie Lee; I don't care! Just as long as you call me." And although he doesn't have any preferred gender pronouns, he has updated the iconic catchphrase to start the Drag Race contest.

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The old line used to be: "Gentleman, start your engines, and may the best woman win!"

But RuPaul updated the language to include trans and non-binary queens, changing the verbiage to, "Racers, start your engines, and may the best drag queen win!" While it may not seem like a major update for some, the change resonated with fans of the series, who applauded RuPaul's sensitivity to people's preferred pronouns.

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Many stated that it was a huge show of RuPaul's own character for considering the feelings of others, especially because the 62-year-old drag queen doesn't necessarily have preferred pronouns. This came after a 2018 interview he had with The Guardian about the idea of drag not being as "danger[ous]" when it's not men participating in the practice.

"Drag loses its sense of danger and its sense of irony once it’s not men doing it, because at its core it’s a social statement and a big f-you to male-dominated culture. So for men to do it, it’s really punk rock, because it’s a real rejection of masculinity." RuPaul apologized for the comments and has made strides to make Drag Race a more inclusive program.

New episodes of Season 15 of RuPaul's Drag Race air Fridays at 8 p.m. EST on MTV.

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