“Drag Race” Producer Fenton Bailey: “RuPaul Was Always A Star. The World Just Had To Catch Up”

Along with Randy Barbato, World of Wonder co-founder Fenton Bailey is behind some of our favorite small- and big-screen productions: Inside Deep Throat, Party Monster, The Eyes of Tammy Faye and, of course, RuPaul’s Drag Race. In a frank interview with Reason.com’s Thaddeus Russell, Bailey opens up about the logic behind his work, his punk aesthetic and his view of sexuality.

Known for his taboo-pushing fare, Bailey gleefully explains how transgressing social norms makes for good television:

There are voices on TV that wouldn’t have been on TV twenty years ago. Back in the day the idea of a drag queen being on TV was some sort of unimaginable horror. But drag queens are perfect for TV because they leap out of the screen… I think that we do lead fairly repressed, button-down lives—and along comes a drag queen and says, ’Fuck all that.’

rupaulTheir chat covers everything from Bailey’s definition of gay culture and his views on marriage equality to his first kiki with Ru, lo those many years ago:

We saw RuPaul on the streets of Atlanta, and he was wheat-pasting.  He was putting up bills of himself and they just said ’RuPaul is Everything.’  And we were like, ’this guy’s a star’.  He always was a star. The rest of the world just had to catch up.

Bailey is outspoken and intelligent even when he’s talking about reality TV:

Everybody’s a little bit gay. Like Honey Boo Boo said, right? Didn’t she say that? Yeah, I think she did.  Great civil rights leader, Honey Boo Boo.

Watch the full clip above, it’s definitely illuminating. But just in case you’re pressed for time, we’ll get to the important part: Bailey promises he won’t stop making Drag Race any time soon.

freelance pop-culture blogger (NNN, MTV Iggy, Oxygen) / recovering academic / wannabe club kid / satanic hipster / talentless DJ.