RuPaul Makes History

September 12th 2016

Laura Donovan

After eight seasons of hosting the reality series "RuPaul's Drag Race," RuPaul received an Emmy on Sunday night, an accomplishment many are calling a historic win for the LGBT community and beyond:


RuPaul beat Jane Lynch, Ryan Seacrest, Steve Harvey, Tom Bergeron, Heidi Klum, and Tim Gunn for the accolade. He told Yahoo that his program is significant in telling the stories of drag queens:

"It’s so important for all the young people around the world who get to see this show to hear that there is a way for you to navigate this life. This show is like a map — it’s like an emotional map to navigate the life of people who dance to the beat of a different drummer.”

He made similar comments in an emotional interview with Entertainment Tonight, noting that he did "not expect" to receive the award:

“I think about all the kids who watch this show all over the world who finally have an emotional navigation system,” RuPaul said. “This show and the hundreds of girls who have come through our show have told their stories so graciously and have really helped young people around the world navigate their lives. And I think I'm the most proud of that."

Earlier this year, writer Jenna Worthan highlighted the significance of RuPaul's show for LGBT issues and the drag community in a piece for The New York Times. She used an Asian-American contestant who kept his love for drag a secret from his mother as an example of the show's beauty:

"Moments like that, both shocking and sad, affirmed the importance of 'Drag Race,' the rare space on television that relishes honesty and exploration, that doesn’t subscribe to the notion that all is well now that we live in a post-marriage-equality world. At its best, drag exposes the charade of modern life, the idea that there are set rules to follow, and even if there are, that you can win by following them. Personality, growth, the ability to evolve and, really, to survive, were the traits that the judges prioritized this season."

Watch RuPaul's interview with Entertainment Tonight below: