The cable network Logo was probably thanking its lucky stars that it picked up “RuPaul’s Drag Race” way back in 2009. But, nothing gold can stay. In 2017 it was announced that “Drag Race” would air its ninth season on VH1. It wasn’t too big of a switch since VH1 and Logo are both owned by Paramount. However, it was a big deal for the show.
Switching to VH1 meant the show would reach millions of new viewers. This increased potential fan base helped the show continue its giant success. Season nine became the show’s highest-rated season up to that point, with almost 900,000 viewers tuning in for the season finale.
Home, Home on the Range
RuPaul’s glamorous reputation doesn’t really bring to mind wide open plains and simple country living. However, our Queen of Drag has surprising roots in Wyoming. He and his husband own a 60,000-acre ranch in Douglas, Wyoming. Georges LeBar inherited the huge chunk of land from his grandfather, who was a successful cattle rancher.
Fans delight in thinking of RuPaul herding cattle and riding a tractor, but the reality is much different. RuPaul isn’t involved in the day-to-day operations of the ranch. Instead, he treats it more as a vacation spot. When he visits Georges on the ranch, he spends most of his time catching up on books and movies. Of course, he enjoys getting dressed up in some good old-fashioned Western wear.
An Open Relationship
Because Georges spends most of his time living on the couple’s Wyoming ranch, the two don’t see each other every day. Their scheduling differences and careers cause them to spend long stretches of time apart, so the two agreed to have an open relationship. RuPaul has shared some details about their arrangement and how it works.
While the two make time for each other by planning romantic getaways every few months, they are free to casually see other people. This works for them because they trust each other and know that, at the end of the day, they would choose each other over anything or anyone else.
Finding Ru’s Roots
There’s not a lot of publicly available information about RuPaul’s family. This is probably due to RuPaul controlling his narrative and wanting to give his family privacy. However, he opened up when he took part in the popular PBS show “Finding Your Roots” in 2017. In the show, host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. shows Ru parts of his family’s history he had never known before.
RuPaul learned that his great-grandparents, Annie and Isaac, married in 1870. According to the show, that was only five years after Blacks were legally able to get married. In addition, the show revealed RuPaul’s surprise cousin: U.S. Senator Cory Booker. The two are very, very distantly related. The DNA doesn’t lie.
The Influence of RuPaul
By the end of 2017, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” had already been on for nearly a decade. However, its switch to VH1 helped garner the show and Ru more widespread attention. As a result, Time honored RuPaul with a well-deserved position on its list of 100 Most Influential People that year. He even got a feature written up for him by long-time friend and supermodel Naomi Campbell.
Naomi gushed about how “Drag Race” shows people just how spectacular RuPaul really is. Naomi wrote that now millions more people are getting to know Ru like she does. She went on to say it was incredible what he has done for the drag queens who compete on that show.