How RuPaul Went from Punk Rock Style to Drag

Aired on 05/18/1995 | CC tv-pg
Many younger TV viewers know RuPaul as the charismatic host of the award-winning RuPaul's Drag Race and probably recognize him from his many roles on the big and small screens. Calling him a trailblazer is not an overstatement, and his celebrity has opened many doors. However, when RuPaul emerged on the scene in the early '90s, there were few in the mainstream media like him. For a gender-bending drag performer, reality TV star and singer/songwriter, RuPaul first started experimenting with his identity in an unlikely place: the punk rock scene.

Here, in this vintage clip from his 1995 appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, RuPaul tells Oprah how he went from safety pins and mohawks to wigs and womenswear.