GuRu Notes (Ella)

Book Citation: Charles, RuPaul. “GuRu.” Dey Street Books, 2018. Kindle Edition.

  • ““You’re born naked and the rest is drag.” In truth, you are not your clothes, you are not your profession, you are not your religion. You are an extension of the consciousness that guides the universe, for which there is no name because it cannot be defined. That’s why all the superficial things you list as your identity are in reality your “drag.” Years ago, when I heard someone say “we are all God in drag,” I knew it to be true at my core.” (RuPaul xi-xii)
  • “Drag is the highest form of being, of showing our best selves to the world.” (RuPaul xii).
  • “I pray every single morning. My prayer is very simple, but it is very powerful. It goes like this: “Dear God [that’s what I say, and you can use whatever you choose], Thank you. I ask that you guide my thoughts, my feelings, and my perceptions. I willingly give you all of my resentments.”” (RuPaul xiii).
  • “In the past, drag has stealthily allowed my true self to fly under the radar.” (RuPaul 1).
  • “Getting ready to go onstage or in front of the cameras is like preparing for battle. When I get all dolled up to film Drag Race, I’ll take six hours. I could do it in two hours, but it’s important for me to make it a deliberately sacred, drawn-out ritual.” (RuPaul 3).
  • “I’ve never gotten used to seeing myself in drag. Or out of drag for that matter. I’ve always felt like The Boy Who Fell to Earth and landed in this body. I want to do as much as I can with this body while I have it. It’s all about honoring this beautiful, gorgeous gift, painting it and decorating it. Why not put on your best every day?” (RuPaul 5).
  • “I am truly an introvert masquerading as an extrovert. The Scorpio in me can be very intense for most people. Drag has allowed me to lighten up. The same way that most people express another side of themselves when they dress up for Halloween.” (RuPaul 9).
  • “It’s all about nudging those proportions to get it right, based on how the human eye perceives silhouettes.” (RuPaul 11).
  • “Back then, in gay male culture, if you didn’t fit into any of the porn-informed stereotypes, you were seen as a eunuch whose sole purpose was to serve as an accessory.” (RuPaul 15).
  • “Doing drag doesn’t change who you are, it actually reveals who you are.” (RuPaul 15).
  • “YOU’RE BORN NAKED AND THE REST IS SHADING AND CONTOURING.” (RuPaul 19).
  • “I still feel like The Boy Who Fell to Earth, fell into this body, and is experiencing humanity, having fun with it.” (RuPaul 23).
  • “I’ve been shunned by whites for being black, by blacks for being gay, and by gays for being fem.” (RuPaul 25).
  • “Drag reminds us that the divisions we create to make sense of what is real and not real are all but our own little superficial illusions.” (RuPaul 27).
  • “My drag look has had several incarnations, but the one that became my signature look was conceived by the marketing man in me. I wanted a recognizable silhouette that could be easily drawn by a caricature artist and emulated by a sketch comedy troupe. I started this process by borrowing liberally from the pop stars I admired. I took two parts Diana Ross, one part David Bowie, three parts Cher, and a heaping spoonful of Dolly Parton. All of those elements together created the look that made me an international star. I call it Glamazon.” (RuPaul 49).
  • “I’ve always maintained that we are all actors on a stage and that we play these roles we inherit from society. But if you’re able to see that and recognize that it’s all an illusion, you have the upper hand in creating where your character can go.” (RuPaul 65).
  • “My drag is less about looking like a woman and more about saying F.U. to the cult of systematic masculinity I was bombarded with as a little boy.” (RuPaul 103).
  • “Drag really is all about dipping into pop culture and then reshaping it into something else.” (RuPaul 127).
  • “AS DRAG QUEENS, IT’S OUR JOB TO MOCK THE HYPOCRISY, MEDIOCRITY, AND ABSURDITY OF SOCIETY.” (RuPaul 137).
  • “It’s very easy to become disillusioned with the business, and hurt by how fickle the audience is. Yes, a support team is essential, but you must also be self-motivated.” (RuPaul 141).
  • “Drag for me has always been my superhero costume. I feel powerful in drag. I think other people see that and believe they can do the same thing.” (RuPaul 171),

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