And now the Emmy-winning Drag Race star is opening up about the worst advice he ever received.
The 57-year-old icon (born RuPaul Andre Charles) ignored suggestions to “go get a job at the Post Office and get some good benefits and good insurance,” he says in the new issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday.
“It’s great for some people, but that was never going to work for me — to just get a degree in something, communications — and hope that my destiny finds me,” he explains.
Indeed, the San Diego native went on to channel his love for dance, music and performing to become the first household-name drag queen.
“My frequency is … vast,” RuPaul says of pursuing his dreams, “and I had to be around people and situations that could receive that frequency. I had to find places that that frequency could be received. I have no business in the lower vibrations.”
But the road to becoming an icon wasn’t always easy. His parents’ divorce when he was a child would scar him for years after, and growing up as a black gay boy left him feeling isolated.
So what advice he would give to his younger self?
“Keep the faith,” RuPaul says. “Always believe in what your heart tells you to do; follow your heart. You take a lot of chances with it, but it’s your safest bet.”
- For more on RuPaul, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday
Now the TV star shares mantras, affirmations and philosophies in GuRu (out now) to teach a new generation how to “experience humanity and side-step the emotional land mines.”
The author hopes the book helps fans realize “there is a way to get through this, and it doesn’t have to be the old, traditional ways of doing it, of getting a 9-to-5 job and 2.2 children and that thing,” he says. “There’s a way to live life on your own terms.”