When RuPaul Charles won his third Emmy for Outstanding Host for RuPaul’s Drag Race, he took the stage and brought everyone to church leading them in a call and response chant: “Everbody say ‘love!'” he hollered with everyone following suit. “Now drive that down to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” he added.

“Our show is about love and the tenacity of the human spirit,” he said. “We are so happy to present all these queens to the world.”

Since debuting in 2009, Drag Race has become a pop culture phenomenon, as audiences are treated to drag queens competing in a vast array of challenges that test their “charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent” as well as their lip syncing skills in the iconic end-of-show battles.

After dancing off the main stage, Charles took the backstage dais and was energized and admittingly “delirious” after riding a high off his third win. He immediately stepped up to the mic playfully joking, “36-24-36 — and yes, they are real!”

Drag Race is a celebration of loving others and loving yourself — specifically for outsiders who have been shunned. This is especially relevant in these divisive times. When asked about the positivity of the show and how it affects today’s politically charged social climate, Charles said, “The divisiveness is new to you, to the white folks. But for outsiders, for us, the gay, black — we have survived and thrived in this kind of atmosphere all of our lives.”

“At Drag Race we’ve always done what we do, and we will continue to do what we do,” he continued. “It’s really about looking at life as a big choice and you can see the glass as half-full, or half-empty — one choice is correct and the other choice will be painful.

“I choose joy — that’s why our show is so successful,” he said.