Sub-freezing temperatures didn’t keep more than 400 people from crowding Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse Tuesday night to catch a glimpse of RuPaul and have the drag superstar autograph his new book.
The event showed that the former Atlantan — he started in the bars of the city in the 1980s, before some members of the crowd on hand Tuesday were even born — still pulls in the fans. Even Mayor Kasim Reed sent along congratulations and accolades.
RuPaul arrived sans drag wearing an open-collared pink shirt, dark suit and orange pocket square, a stark departure from the heavy coats and faux fur sprinkled throughout the crowd. The crush of people filled Outwrite, stretched out the door and around the corner east along 10th Street. In a town that seldom hosts gay events with rope lines, RuPaul’s appearance did just that. And fans didn’t seem too bothered by their lengthy wait outdoors as temperatures inched below freezing.
Once inside, RuPaul delivered brief remarks and posed with Nicole Paige Brooks (second photo) before hunkering down and autographing copies of the new book, “Workin’ It! RuPaul’s Guide to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Style.” Brooks was a contestant on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” this season before getting eliminated in the second episode. But he made use of the spotlight with RuPaul and asked the crowd to “let Ru know she made a mistake last week” in dropping her. (Keep up with “Drag Race” with our weekly recaps.)
RuPaul’s ties to Atlanta and the new book were commended in a Phoenix Award signed by Reed and delivered during Tuesday’s appearance by Reese McCrainie, the mayor’s gay interim communications director. The award recognized RuPaul for his “greatest milestones.”
On behalf of the People of Atlanta, I commend RuPaul as you celebrate the book release of “Workin’ It: RuPaul’s Guide to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Style,” which is filled with fashion, make-up, diet, health tips, as well as advice on honing your craft. As a dedicated author, entertainer and supermodel, you have demonstrated an admirable commitment to service through humanity. In celebration of one of your greatest milestones, we thank you for imparting your wisdom with generations of people throughout our community and beyond. Your legacy continues to encourage people to live with integrity, pride and courage. On this special day, the City of Atlanta salutes and celebrates with you. On behalf of the People of Atlanta, I salute and celebrate you!”
“To truly create the best life ever,” RuPaul says in an excerpt, “you must begin the work from the inside out. You must liberate yourself and clear away the old mental habits that block you from moving forward. Style is a celebratory expression of your life force. You must approach it with a sense of joie de vivre. Open yourself to all the possibilities!”