RuPaul inducted into California Hall of Fame


RuPaul Charles was inducted into the California Hall of Fame on December 10 in Sacramento in an official state ceremony at the California Museum. Photo: California Museum.

Drag personality RuPaul Charles werked it Tuesday night as a member of the 13th class of icons inducted into the California Hall of Fame for their innovation and achievement.

The event took place in Sacramento at the California Museum, where the Hall of Fame is located.

“California is a state not just of dreamers, but of doers who pride themselves on being on the leading edge,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said at the live streamed ceremony. “That entrepreneurial spirit and the incredible diversity, daring and perseverance of our beloved state is demonstrated in the lives and the journeys of those honored tonight.”

When RuPaul was announced as an inductee in November, he said in a statement, “As a native of this great state, being inducted into the California Hall of Fame is especially heartfelt because it comes from where my dreams were born, it comes from home.”

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RuPaul was one of 10 inductees into the California Hall of Fame: 

  • Maya Angelou
  • Olympic medalist Brandi Chastain
  • Astrophysicist France A. Córdova
  • Skateboarder Tony Hawk
  • Author-activist Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston
  • Civil rights leader Rev. James M. Lawson, Jr.
  • Comedian George Lopez
  • Wolfgang Puck
  • Winemaker and vintner Helen M. Turley

Inductees were presented with Spirit of California medals by the governor and his wife, Siebel Newsom. In addition, the lives and legacies of the new inductees are featured in an exhibit at the California Museum opening today, Wednesday, December 11.

This year’s honorees join 122 inspirational Californians previously inducted.

RuPaul isn’t the first member of the LGBTQ community in the California Hall of Fame. Billie Jean King, Harvey Milk, Sally Ride, and George Takei are also in the Hall of Fame.

The California Hall of Fame was established in 2006 by the California Museum and former First Lady Maria Shriver to honor legendary people who have made their mark on history through achievements across a variety of fields, including the arts, education, business and labor, science, sports, philanthropy and public service.

Hall of Fame inductees are selected yearly by the governor and first lady.

Additionally, induction into the California Hall of Fame is an official award from the Governor of California given in an official State of California ceremony. Inductee accomplishments are made permanent record in the California State Archives.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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