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Lettin It All Hang Out Hardcover – June 1, 1995

4.7 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Some of the most unforgettable women in the world... are men." In this engagingly chatty, featherweight autobiography, drag queen RuPaul traces his transformation from misfit son of a troubled mother in Georgia, to unsung "superstar-in-exile" dancing on bars in Manhattan's East Village, to international sensation with the hit single "Supermodel of the World." Since the book's completion, he has also become the first known cross-dresser to win an advertising contract with a major cosmetics company. Ru takes ample time out along the way to expand on the New Age platitudes of such songs as "Everybody Say Love" and aim a few harsh words at naysayers and tellers of stupid anatomical jokes?including comedian Milton Berle, whose infamous run-in with co-presenter Ru at the MTV Video Awards is described in sordid backstage detail here. But despite the title, Ru remains emotionally corseted until the final chapter, in which he discusses the hardships involved in growing up gay and examines his difficult relationship with his father. This extraordinary extrovert remains a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma wearing a bodysuit and sky-high wig. Ample snapshots of the many faces of Ru nearly make up for the lack of psychological insight.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1st edition (June 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786861568
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786861569
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #800,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Thank you RuPaul for writing this book! What a treasure it is. I'm not sure how much non-fans, and hetero's will appreciate it, but for me it has been a lifeline! Anyone who has been through the wringer (and man does Ru have stories for you), is a drag queen, has a sense of humor (RuPaul is wickedly funny, though never mean), or wants to learn more about Ru should pick up this book ASAP. Ru has been very brave in letting us into his mind, life and soul. There are many life lessons to be learned along the way and a whole mess of laughs too! What a suprise to find it published by Disney! This is also a great how-to-be-a-drag-queen book. Ru tells ALL her secrets and gives tips on releaseing the inner drag queen in us all. Finally he is revelaed to be a person of great strength, integrity, bravery and also very wise. I wish we all could be a bit more like "little Ru-Ru". Full of pictures, wit and wisdom this is a MUST buy!
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By JGC on September 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Lettin It All Hang Out" is a lot like RuPaul; both are fascinating, colorful and incredibly lively! In her first book, Ru talks about how she became the world's most famous drag-queen. She is like Dolly or Charo. How can anyone not adore Ru?

I've always loved RuPaul because she is not like a typical drag-queen. Anyone that's ever known a drag-queen (especially in NY) knows how temperamental and mean-spirited they are prone to be. But, Ru is so kind-hearted and loveable. She once described herself as a "Disney character." And, I think that really is the best way to explain her because everyone loves her.

RuPaul honestly details her rise to fame and stardom; living in NY's seedy East Village during the 70's and 80's. She also candidly writes about her tumultuous relationship with her family from the south and how she had to be who she had to be.

The book includes lots of extra tidbits and odds and ends; perhaps, even some info that I would rather not know (there is a chapter about "tucking!") And, Ru includes lots and lots of pictures of herself through the years. As a man, or as a woman, Ru is beautiful on the inside and out.
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Format: Paperback
RuPaul takes us into her private home and shows us all the stuff she has gone through. This takes on the classic style of "from ashes to riches".
Don't get me wrong, I couldn't put down the book when I started it. The book is well-written and very entertaining, with parts that make you think of your own bad times.
This is a MUST-READ for all of those who have wondered about the tall blonde wonder. A good CD to go with this is one of the albums that RuPaul has produced
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Format: Paperback
I have always liked RuPaul and recently becoming obsessed with RuPaul's Drag Race TV show made me really want to know more about Ru. Being a straight married woman, I found Ru's story not only interesting, but inspiring, and frankly laugh out loud funny at times. To me she has quickly become a role model for me and can be for anyone male/female, straight or of the GLBT community. She is true to herself and just a beautiful person inside and out. An excellent read for anyone who is curious to know more about the fabulously glamorous RuPaul. EVERYBODY SAY LOVE!!!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book for fun, and came away from it deeply, deeply moved. Having read Gender Shock, Transgender Warriors, Stone Butch Blues and been blown away by Boys Don't Cry, RuPaul was the next logical step in my exploration of this new frontier in gender study. This beautiful man knows more about love and tolerance than I could ever hope to know in a month of Sundays. The book IS fun -- it is also love, peace, healing...and hope. We should all be so lucky as to have someone like RuPaul in our lives. And no matter what he is or is not wearing, he is oh so easy on the eyes!
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Format: Paperback
Being a big fan of Ru, I treasured every moment when reading 'Letting It All Hang Out'. I did not want the book to end, but after I had finished reading it, I felt even more in awe of him. I was touched by his honesty about his life and I felt like I was really there living his life with him. It is so "real"
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book takes you through the early years of Ru Paul's life: Through his homeless days of rejection, betrayals, and self-doubt into the amazing success story that resulted. Each page is full of inspiration for all of us that do not fit into the strict roles society and family have set for us.

It is full of humor and observations about life as well as tips and tricks for anyone who wants to be a Drag Queen--but this book would inspire anyone who is looking to discover their inner strength.
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By A Customer on May 16, 1997
Format: Paperback
This has to be one of those books which any up and coming Drag Queen will want to read. If you've done drag once, sang in front of a mirror or stolen any of your mother's clothes/make-up or shoes, you will place this next to the bible (Sparticus) once you've finished reading it. The strange thing is, you learn to feel for Rupaul in a way that you wouldn't expect, it's a real eye opener. Rupaul, thank you for writing this book
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