AAA Profile: RuPaul
RuPaul is quite possibly the world’s most famous drag queen, an entrepreneurial pioneer who seemed almost single-handedly to have brought drag culture into the American mainstream. An overnight sensation several decades in the making, RuPaul is an accomplished performer, actor and recording artist, host of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”, a drag competition show on VH1, now in its tenth year, which has won three Primetime Emmys. Acknowledged as the most commercially successful drag queen in history, in 2017 RuPaul was included in Time’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
As the performer himself has said, “We’re all born naked and the rest is drag.” After years of gender-bender performances in clubs in Atlanta and New York, in 1993 RuPaul hit the airwaves with his hit single “Supermodel (You Better Work)”, a smash success in dance clubs across the nation. That year he became the first drag spokesperson for a cosmetics company, MAC Cosmetics, and the follow year, hosted a talk show in drag on VH1, featuring celebrities and musical acts.
More albums followed, including “Red Hot” (2004), “Starrbooty” (2007), “Champion” (2009) and “Glamazon” (2011). In 2009 “RuPaul’s Drag Race” premiered on Logo, with the spin off “RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars” following in 2012. RuPaul famously cites the criteria for appearing on his competition shows as the would-be contestants’ “charmisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent” (all right as far as that goes, just don’t use the acronym). RuPaul has appeared frequently, both in and out of drag, in feature films and TV series since 1993. In 1994 he met and became involved with Australian partner Georges LeBar, a painter and rancher; the couple was married in 2017.
Born 17 November 1960 at 6:52 PM PST in San Diego, California (Rodden Rating AA) as RuPaul Charles, RuPaul’s birth chart shows ample evidence, not only of his sexual preference, but his crossdressing penchant. Homosexual markers in a chart include Ganymed, Sappho, Eros and Antinous.
Ganymed is named for Zeus’ underage cupbearer and boytoy lover; Sappho is named for the ancient Greek poet, Sappho of Lesbos, who gave her name to female homosexuals, lesbians; Eros is the god of sexual passion, acknowledged in classical Hellenistic society as the special patron of homosexual unions; and Antinous is also named for an historical character, the lover of Roman Emperor Hadrian, who sacrificed himself in the Nile to save his master, and was afterward deified.
Having any of these prominent can point to homosexual tendencies; RuPaul has all four emphasized. Natal Ganymed at 10 Virgo closely conjoins Pluto and the IC, at 8 and 11 Virgo, giving the asteroid angular force and power. The conjunction to Pluto indicates a connection to sexuality and taboo, as well as identifying homosexuality as a source of self-empowerment for RuPaul. An affinity for forming lasting, loving gay partnerships is suggested by the trine from Ganymed to an exact Venus/Juno conjunction at 3 Capricorn (with Juno ruling marriage and partnerships), also angular on the 29 Sagittarius Descendant (asteroid George, for spouse Georges LeBar, joins this pair from 11 Cap). Also exact on that Angle is asteroid Icarus, indicating a risk-taker, someone willing to break the bounds of accepted behavior, take a chance and fly free.
Natal Sappho at 7 Libra is square Venus and semisquare the 25 Scorpio Sun, on the midpoint of the exact Sun/Uranus square, with the planet of rebelliousness and jettisoning societal expectations at 25 Leo. Exact with Uranus is asteroid Pandora, named for the first woman created in Greek myth. This may reflect how RuPaul “created” himself in a female image, and reinforces Uranus’ traditional taste for gender-bending and pushing the boundaries. In his own words: “When you become the image of your own imagination, it’s the most powerful thing you could ever do.”
Eros is also here with Uranus, at 29 Leo, also squared the Sun, and a bit earlier in the zodiac, still within orb of both Uranus and the Sun, are asteroids Paul and Queen’s, at 17 and 21 Leo. These oppose asteroid Drago at 18 Aquarius, forming a T-Square. This suggests an intimate identification (conjunction) for RuPaul (Paul) with the icon of the Drag (Drago) Queen (Queen’s), one which is self-defining (Sun) and yet also exotic or somehow alienating (both Uranus).
Asteroid Antinous is perhaps the most influential of the gay-themed points. At 20 Cancer, Antinous conjoins natal Mars at 18 Cancer, indicating a strong attraction for homosexual activity. Both points are trine the Sun and at station, with Antinous turning retrograde on November 4th, and Mars following suit three days after RuPaul’s birth, on November 20th. This makes sexuality, and specifically gay sex, embedded factors in RuPaul’s psyche, points around which life energies coalesce, hallmarks which are pivotal in development of character, and elements which stand out in his biography.
It’s not just RuPaul’s sexuality which is expressed in the chart; several asteroids named for mythic crossdressers are also active, in addition to the solar T-Square involving Drago and Queen’s.
Though famed for their overt masculinity and heroic, testosterone-induced deeds, both Achilles and Heracles were capable of donning female garb, when the occasion demanded. Achilles’ mother Thetis persuaded him to impersonate a woman to avoid serving in the Trojan War, where his death was prophesied; she disguised him as a handmaid and entrusted him to the court of King Lycomedes of Skyros, where he lived among the king’s daughters. The wily Odysseus caught him out, and Achilles went with the Greeks to Troy, and his death.
RuPaul has natal asteroid Achilles at 16 Aquarius, squared the Moon at 14 Scorpio, as well as conjoined Drago and asteroid Actor at 14 Aquarius. The connections from Achilles to Drago and the Moon may have encouraged RuPaul to actualize the part of the famed warrior’s story where he dresses in drag (Drago) to play the role (Actor) of a woman (Moon).
Heracles did a stint in female attire as well. As penance for his unintentional murder of Iphitus, Heracles is sentenced to a year’s servitude to Omphale, Queen of Lydia, a degrading employment for the great hero. To humiliate him further, Omphale insists on clothing him in women’s apparel, and instructs him to assist her in spinning and other female tasks. RuPaul’s natal asteroid Heracles at 0 Pisces is squared the Sun and sesquiquadrate Mars.
The god Dionysus is another source of crossdressing tradition. As patron of the theater, Dionysos oversaw many acts of transvestism, since in ancient Greece all the female parts were played by men. In addition, his male followers often dressed as women when partaking in his drunken, orgiastic rites. Like Ganymed, asteroid Dionysus is angular, appearing at 6 Virgo in RuPaul’s birth chart, also conjoined Pluto and the IC, semisquare Mars and trined Venus.
Even the rough-and-tumble Norse pantheon was not unfamiliar with acts of crossdressing. When Odin wanted to seduce the chaste goddess Rindr, he disguised himself as a female healer to gain access to her boudoir. Similarly, when Thor’s Hammer was stolen, he and Loki impersonated Freya, Queen of the gods, and her handmaiden, to retrieve it. Thrym, chief of the Giants, had taken the hammer and held it in ransom until Freya became his wife; she refused, but Thor took her place, dressed as a bride with Loki as his attendant, and at the ceremony, reclaimed his weapon, then proceeded to kill all the guests at the banquet.
While none of these incidents forms a major focus of the mythologies of the deities concerned, when other factors in the chart collude, there may be a natural tendency to enact the crossdressing aspects of their stories.
RuPaul’s natal asteroid Odin at 23 Virgo is sextile the Sun; asteroid Thora (for Thor) at 26 Libra is semisextile the Sun and broadly squared Mars; and asteroid Loke (an alternate spelling of Loki, named for the god) at 11 Libra is semisquare the Sun, also broadly squared both Mars and Venus.
So there are a number of astrological factors which could incline RuPaul to cross-dress, not just personally, but professionally as well. Loki also squares Saturn at 14 Capricorn, ruling career, and trines Actor; Heracles is semisquare Saturn, while Dionysus is widely trine. All could suggest wearing female attire in a professional capacity. His break-out, career-grounding efforts as a singer in the ‘90s may be attributed to a precise Yod, or Finger of Destiny, with Mars at 18 Cancer on the Apex, exactly inconjunct to both Drago at 18 Aquarius and asteroid Singer at 18 Sagittarius, with Mars also opposed Saturn, hinting at a connection between sexuality and career. Singing in drag was a way to actualize his fate, and one RuPaul utilized to his best advantage.
RuPaul’s phenomenal success is a testament to the public’s willingness to embrace difference, celebrate diversity, and applaud authenticity, in whatever form it takes, warts and all. RuPaul ends every episode of his “Drag Race” with these words: “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?” Amen, Ru; amen!
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Y E S !!! I loved your article – insights and analysis. THANKS for a wonderful posting.