Sen. Cory Booker joined RuPaul on the season finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the two reminded contestants and fans of their kinship during the broadcast.
Booker appeared via recorded video to explain the rules of the Lip Sync Smackdown and was introduced by host RuPaul.
“Now, to explain the rules of the Lip Sync Smackdown, please welcome United States Senator — and my cousin — Cory Booker,” RuPaul said.
The competitors displayed a slight confusion at the announcement, leading RuPaul to reiterate, “No, really, we are related.”
“Thank you, cousin RuPaul,” Booker, a New Jersey Democrat, said as his video message began. “I just want to say, thank you. In life we were not born to fit in. We were born to stand out. To make the most out of ourselves and always elevate and enrich the lives of others.”
He continued, with a quote from the late Rep. John Lewis: “Never let anyone, any person, or any force, dampen, dim, or diminish your light.”
The senator added, “Thank god for you, thank god for America, and thank god for my cousin RuPaul.”
After they both appeared on episodes of the PBS series Finding Your Roots, the two learned of their familial bond. In October 2020, the series revealed Booker and RuPaul share a long stretch of identical DNA on their first chromosome.
“He looks like my kin,” RuPaul said. “There’s a sweetness about him that I’ve always loved and an intellect that’s undeniable. But every time I’ve ever seen him, he reminds me of my cousin Eulah… How about that.”
At the time, Booker guested on the Wendy Williams Show to discuss his newfound relative. He shared that he “told everybody that would listen in my world” about the news.
“So yeah, my mom knows, I just, I love RuPaul, and I haven’t had a chance to talk to him since the news was revealed but I was very happy about that news and I hope that he and I can have a family reunion sometime.”
As the season finale of Drag Race continued, Symone came out on top. During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the winner shared the importance of centering Blackness during drag performance.
“I love Black culture and Black women, and the strength that comes from us. Me auditioning was a beautiful accident, because I almost wasn’t going to do it. I almost didn’t finish the tape, but the stars aligned for me to be here. [I thought] what would [my presence] mean to people when this aired?” she said.
“Do I feel a responsibility? Yes, because I am a Black person, period, and I have a platform now to speak and say. But that’s just who I am. That’s why it made it so much more impactful, because it felt authentic, it felt genuine, it felt like she’s truly here to shed the light on this beauty that, in my opinion, is overlooked.”
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