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Photos by Ted Johnson

On a fabulous Friday, March 8, 2024, the beloved LGBTQ+ icon RuPaul, wearing a dashing black McQueen suit jacket and flawless skin, greeted the excited Warner Theatre audience with free copies of his memoir, “The House of Hidden Meanings.” Since all his other tour destinations have been sold out, some dedicated fans have traveled as far as Australia and Canada just to sit in the front row. He nicknamed latecomers ‘Satin Suit’ due to CPT time, otherwise known as Colored People time. Thus, the show started around 8:15 p.m. instead of the typical 8 o’clock Live Nation ticket time.

If you do not know, RuPaul Charles is a Tony Award winner and twelve-time Primetime Emmy Award-winning executive producer of the world’s largest television franchise, RuPaul’s Drag Race. Originally a San Diego native, RuPaul achieved international fame with the song “Supermodel (You Better Work)” from his 1993 debut album and has written and recorded nineteen studio albums to date. He has appeared in more than fifty (50) films and television shows, both in and out of drag. As an author, he has published three books: GuRu; Working It!: RuPaul’s Guide to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Style; and Letting It All Hang Out: An Autobiography.

The audience taking in the pearls of wisdom from RuPaul

This was my first-time seeing RuPaul live and in person, but I have been a big TV fan of his Drag Race reality show series. He is larger than life, but he has such a calming voice when he shares a few heartfelt stories about his life. While in DC, he got the best White House tour from Wayne. He also encouraged everyone to vote, especially since Congress gathered recently for President Biden’s State of the Union address on Capitol Hill.

He explained that the first time he performed his full glam dance hit “Supermodel” in Washington, DC, was around April 1993 during the Gay and Lesbian March. He mentioned that from the stage, he could see an airplane leave Dulles Airport (even though the locals knew he meant DCA instead). At that moment, he felt his dear mother leaving the earth and entering the heavens. Sadly, she died from complications of cancer. RuPaul often discussed how his parents affected his life throughout the hour and half-show, encouraging the audience to continue reading his memoir for specific details. Overall, I enjoyed getting to know RuPaul…one, he successfully finished a 12-step program and is still sober after over 30 years. Secondly, he used to go to discos (i.e., dance clubs) close to South Capitol Street, where he said, “You could find all types of Members of Congress partying.” Finally, he offered a life hack trick by “finding a younger photo of yourself like five years old; save it on your phone and focus on learning to re-parent that five-year-old kid. Be Kind.”

Bottom line: Thank you, RuPaul, for the Friday night therapy session I never knew I needed.


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