Drag has been around since the days of Dionysus, but no ancient Greek ever sashayed nearly as statuesquely as RuPaul Charles. The world’s most famous and influential drag performer took a long (and still) marginalized art form and used it to create an empire — and in doing so, built a shimmering 30-year-long career as twisted as pop culture itself to become one of the most important LGBTQ icons of our time. That’s why the inimitable RuPaul is the perfect cover star to grace

Entertainment Weekly’s annual LGBTQ special issue, which this year features a reunion with the stars of The L Word, a gay pop preview (including a sneak peek at the Will & Grace revival), and our list of the 25 greatest LGBTQ entertainment moments from the past 25 years. As for the story of RuPaul, it would certainly be enough to hear from Ru himself about all of his grand achievements (like signing on as the first face of MAC’s Viva Glam cosmetics line in 1994, or becoming national TV’s first openly gay host with his VH1 talk show in 1996). READ MORE