Drag queen RuPaul in his Emmy Award acceptance speech Sunday night thanked "all of our lovely children on our show from all around the world ... they are so gracious to tell their stories of courage and how to navigate this difficult life — even more difficult today."
The host of "RuPaul's Drag Race" — which took home Outstanding Competition Series — then added, "And for you kids out there watching, you have a tribe that is waiting for you. We are waiting for you, baby. Come on to Mama Ru!"
Competition Program: 73rd Emmys youtu.be
RuPaul reportedly has referred to performers on "Drag Race" as his children — so doing the same during his acceptance speech Sunday wasn't necessarily out of the ordinary for the host. In addition, "Drag Race" competitors all are at least 19 years of age.
In a 2018 interview, RuPaul used similar language in referring to the "queens" who try out for "Drag Race," saying that "they are teaching young people how to ... find their tribe." He also referred to "Drag Race" contestants as "kids."
So, in light of all that, it's fair to conclude that RuPaul — who is 60 — very well could have meant adults when he said, "And for you kids out there watching, you have a tribe that is waiting for you. We are waiting for you, baby. Come on to Mama Ru!"
But RuPaul didn't make that clear to Emmys watchers. Indeed, Deadline reported that the host "dedicated his [Emmy] win to the LGBTQ community and queer youth."
In addition — and this should come as no surprise — minors do watch "RuPaul's Drag Race."
"I wasn't myself at all. Nobody was gay, and I was an easy target for bullies. I felt abnormal," Brandon Austin told Insider earlier this year in regard to his high school struggles. "Then, at 16, my best friend introduced me to 'RuPaul's Drag Race.'"
Insider's piece — titled "By championing self-expression, 'RuPaul's Drag Race' has encouraged a generation of young LGBTQ+ fans to come out" — also said that the TV show has been a fixture in the lives of Gen-Z watchers and "has been integral to their being out and proud about their identities."
Austin added to the outlet that "seeing people being accepted for who they are made me realize that I am normal."
Here's the pair at RuPaul's Drag Con NYC in 2017, in which the host tells the "gorgeous little queen" that he's "the future of America":
RuPaul Meets Desmond Is Amazing | RuPaul's DragCon NYC 2017 youtu.be