That wasn't the case with the delicious diva known as RuPaul, who's not a woman at all, just the world's most famous drag queen, and someone who has been notably absent from the pages of Us Weekly for the past several years.
But this dance-club fave is once again claiming tabloid headlines (he just unveiled the world's first tranny fashion doll in her likeness-see right), and is about to get a lot of local attention when he headlines at CC Slaughters. But will gays embrace Ru like they did back in the early '90s when the "Super Model of the World" was blaring "You Better Work!" all over the radio and runway? I had to find out.
While Ru was a bit threatening at first, the diva duel I'd anticipated never materialized. The most dramatic soundbite? When I asked him if he had any special plans while visiting Portland, RuPaul replied, "I plan on looking your ass up and kicking your ass, man."
But that was the old RuPaul. After he dropped a few bitchy lines, I heard the voice of the new RuPaul on the other end of the line.
"I have to remind myself every day of what is real, and what is real is love," said the 45-year-old RuPaul Andre Charles. "The superficial image I project is a social commentary on the world we live in. That's why the doll is so important to me. I'm saying, 'Look, I'm beautiful with all this stuff on, but that truth is who I really am has nothing to do with any of this stuff. I'm actually letting the cat out of the bag by saying it's not real at all. I never said it was."
So does the doll have all the right parts?
"I don't know what all the right parts are," he laughs. "It's interesting. Hidden meanings are exciting to me: Living outside the box as a gay man, or as a gay little boy, I got to see that hypocrisy, and I always wanted to say, 'Soylent Green is people!'"
But adopting a more philosophical attitude doesn't mean RuPaul is quite ready to put his wig back in the box-yet. In fact, he's coming back stronger than ever, dropping casual references to the world's mystical healers.
"I don't need to make a whole lot of money," he says. "And I don't need to become more famous. There are a lot of young people who need to see someone living their life outside the box and being successful at it. The shamans and the witch doctors remind each culture to not take themselves too seriously. They mock our culture by being both male and female, but in that context, there is a much deeper message, which is that we are all the same."
CC Slaughters Block Party, 219 NW Davis St., 248-9135. 7 pm Saturday, Aug. 20; RuPaul hits at 11 pm. $15 at door. 21+.