RuPaul on 'Drag Race'.
Source: VH1

Does RuPaul Want to Be Called "He" or "She"? The Drag Icon Has No Preference

Mustafa Gatollari - Author

Feb. 19 2021, Published 10:43 p.m. ET

There have been huge strides made in recent years when it comes to gender fluidity and the implementation of individual's preferred pronouns. One of Showtime's highest-rated and most popular current shows, Billions, features Asia Kate Dillon, who plays non-binary character Taylor Mason.

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Younger's Nico Tortorella and their wife Bethany C. Meyers use "they / their" as their pronouns. And one of longest running reality TV series, RuPaul's Drag Race is another example of mainstream gender-bending entertainment. 

What are RuPaul's preferred pronouns?

RuPaul is probably 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 probably the first exposure they had to drag even existing.

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But 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 and RuPaul 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 also 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 had the language updated in order to include trans and non-binary contestants, changing verbage to, "Racers, start your engines and may the best drag queen win!"

While it may not seem like a big 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 he doesn't necessarily have preferred pronouns himself.

This was 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.

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"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.

When does the new season of RuPaul's 'Drag Race' come on, and what time does it start?

The show is currently in its 13th season and new episodes air every Friday at 8 p.m. ET on VH1. Will you be tuning in? Or do you like to "Sissy That Walk" yourself and don't need to watch others do it?

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