RuPaul used his record-breaking Emmy win to pay tribute to Drag Race contestant Chi Chi DeVayne, who died in August after contracting pneumonia.
On Saturday (19 September), RuPaul won his fifth consecutive Emmy award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Programme, making him the biggest winner in the category’s history.
In a speech recorded on the RuPaul’s Drag Race main stage, the TV presenter talked about the importance of representation, while also dedicating the award to season eight contestant DeVayne.
“I’ve always said, every time I bat my false eyelashes, I’m making a political statement,” RuPaul said. “Well, tonight, the only political statement I want to make is this: love.
“Love for our LGBT brothers and sisters, love for black queens and brown queens, and love for the United States of America, where a little gay boy with nothing more than a pussy-cat wig and a dream can build an international platform that celebrates sweet, sensitive souls everywhere.”
Encouraging viewers to register to vote in the upcoming US presidential election, RuPaul ended the speech: “I’d like to dedicate this Emmy to one of my girls, Chi Chi DeVayne. May you rest in power and perfection.”
DeVayne was mourned by the drag community following her death on 20 August, with RuPaul saying at the time: “I am heartbroken to learn of the passing of Chi Chi DeVayne. I am so grateful that we got to experience her kind and beautiful soul.
“She will be dearly missed, but never forgotten. May her generous and loving spirit shine down on us all.”