Drag Race fan favorites share moving memories of RuPaul: ‘We were being seen’ – EW.com

Check out the complete oral history of RuPaul — and revisit 25 years’ worth of game-changing LGBTQ movies, TV, and music — in the special LGBTQ issue of Entertainment Weekly, available here. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

Upon its 2009 premiere, RuPaul’s Drag Race helped usher in a new era of fabulous for its Emmy-winning host, who’s comfortably settled into his sky-high stilettos as America’s reigning First Lady of Drag. Across 116 episodes to date, the reality competition series has broadened the world’s perception of drag not only as a form of entertainment but as a legitimate art that — in the cultivating hands of Mama Ru — continues to expand and evolve with each new contestant who sashays into the program’s storied work room.

While 115 queens from around the world have seen their artistry soar to new heights as part of the Drag Race cast, four of the most prominent graduates — season 6’s Bianca Del Rio, season 5’s Jinkx Monsoon, and season 4 sisters Latrice Royale and Chad Michaels — have arguably made the most of their time on the show, fronting international comedy tours, starring in elaborate stage productions, and acting in films and television shows, with the ripples of RuPaul’s success lighting the way. Now the queens are opening up to EW about RuPaul’s hand in making them superstars on the drag circuit, recalling everything from the first time they saw his “Supermodel (You Better Work)” music video to the impact he had on their budding sexuality as awareness of LGBTQ discrimination intensified in the early ’90s.

As RuPaul’s Drag Race prepares to conclude its ninth season on Friday at 8 p.m. ET on VH1, check out what fan favorite contestants have to say about RuPaul’s life and legacy below.

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