You really know that we’re in the worst timeline now because somehow “RuPaul is Fracking” wasn’t the weirdest headline of the weekend.
i love how RuPaul admitting to fracking is like, only the eighth craziest thing to happen today.— Joker OnlyFans (@saintknives) March 16, 2020
In an interview with Terry Gross on NPR, RuPaul talks about his early career, his mother, and even about getting it on with some straight men. It’s actually a pretty interesting interview considering the life that RuPaul has lived. Unfortunately, it goes downhill right at the end of the interview when Terry Gross asks him about life on a ranch.
(If you didn’t know by the way, RuPaul and his husband own a 60,000 acre ranch in Wyoming. 60,000 ACRES! For reference, that’s about 1/10th the size of Luxembourg!)
TG: “Do you have, like, horses or cattle or a farm or…?”
RP: “A modern ranch, 21st century ranch, is really land management. You lease the mineral rights to oil companies. And you sell water to oil companies. And you then lease the grazing rights to different ranchers. So, it’s land management.”
And there’s no follow-up, which was immediately noticed and tweeted by a PhD candidate named Rory Solomon. The tweet went viral and Gizmodo picked up the story. Turns out that RuPaul’s ranch is a hotspot for fracking with over 35 active oil and gas wells. And that’s just in the 10,000 acres that the journalists who investigated this looked at!
HOLD UP. (Non-COVID content) @RuPaul was just on @NPRFreshAir and shared that he & his partner own 60,000 acres in Wyoming & they "lease mineral rights ... and sell water to oil companies" and Terry Gross did not follow up with one question about the fact that RuPaul is FRACKING pic.twitter.com/KJanHgi0xI— Rory Solomon (@rorys) March 15, 2020
If you aren’t sure what fracking is or need a refresher (I certainly did), there’s a great article by Live Science. You can also add the Season 4, Episode 4 of Bojack Horseman about fracking to your social distancing playlist.
In short, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a drilling technique that involves pumping fluid at high pressures into oil wells. It’s a hotly debated issue and a practice that is strongly denounced by climate change activists. It was even a key point of this weekend’s democratic debate.
One of the fascinating parts of the NPR interview is learning about RuPaul’s humble beginnings. It’s this image that we usually see presented on the show and in interviews. But modern day RuPaul is a far cry from that humble origin story.
Ru now has an enormous entertainment brand. With international franchises, a music career, a biannual convention, merchandising, cosmetics line, and additional entertainment gigs like AJ and the Kween, RuPaul is minting coin. Now, on top of all that, we’re learning that he might be contributing to an extremely lucrative but also controversial drilling process on what is already a gargantuan property.
RuPaul has come under fire in the past for his polarising opinions and his beliefs that are often out of sync with the times. As others have pointed out, it’s kind of ridiculous that he held a climate change ball on Season 10 while simultaneously being part of the problem.
As much as he’d like us to believe the opposite, RuPaul has become part of an elite, privileged, and incredibly wealthy class. Everyone considers this headline strange because it’s “Mama Ru.” But if we take a closer look at RuPaul and his performative wokeness, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s important to hold someone who has such a visible platform and acts as an inspiration to many people accountable. But at this point, it’s pretty clear that his actions align more with a rich, straight, white man than a black, queer, drag queen. Thankfully, people still have a good sense of humour about it.
great to see that World of Wonder is taking this whole RuPaul fracking thing seriously pic.twitter.com/EhX1PLSJuy— resistance comedienne (@weirdqueer) March 16, 2020
Given what we know now, I’d like to update some common RuPaul’s Drag Race catchphrases:
We’re all born naked, and the rest is frack.
Shale done already done had herses
Why it gotta be frack?
If you don’t drill on your massive ranch, how in the hell are you going to make millions of dollars in profit? Can I get an amen?