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RuPaul, why can’t you let girls be boys?

A SYTYCB entry

M’dear RuPaul, I’m sad to report I have a bone to pick with you. (And, OK—tee hee!)

It pains me, because I adore you. I have nothing but admiration for the way you boldly sashayed your way into the hearts of mainstream America with your 1993 hit single “Supermodel (You Better Work).” I love the way you used those strappy stiletto heels kick to open doors for the GLBTQ community, right through to the 2009 debut of your revolutionary Logo reality show, “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

And I can’t get enough “Drag Race,” now approaching its fifth season. The way it spoofs reality shows like “Project Runway” and “America’s Next Top Model” brings me boundless joy, especially when you coolly survey the queens with an empirical Tyra Banks gaze—after they’ve been tasked with making something beautiful using glue guns and a pile of garbage. I’m blown away when I process the sheer level of talent this contest demands: Modeling, styling, sewing, crafting, lip-synching, dancing, acting, singing, and writing—often on the spot and in 5-inch heels. I’m thrilled that plus-size queens are given the same amount of respect as the pint-size “fishy” ones. But most importantly, I love how “Drag Race” reveals the personal world of a group still beleaguered by prejudice, discrimination, and violence, and puts a heart-breaking, human face on all the abstract debates about sexuality, religion, and policy.

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