In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, RuPaul, host of RuPaul's Drag Race, explained how he overcame the pain of his “cruel” and “heartless” family.

When asked how overcoming adversity had shaped his outlook on life, RuPaul answered that his number one rule was not to take life too “fucking seriously.”

“I learned it early on and, initially, I was really heartbroken because I was taking life seriously,” he said.

“I couldn’t believe that my parents and people could be so cruel and so heartless. For a sweet, sensitive soul, there are stages of the evolution… once you uncover life’s cruel hoax, you become angry and you become mad as hell and then you become bitter. And then you become very cynical.”

(Related: RuPaul reveals he married boyfriend Georges LeBar in January.)

“But the next level beyond that – if you can go beyond that – is laughter and irreverence… you can laugh, you can dance, you can seek out the places where you can blossom and expand, because you won’t get tied down to what other people have to say about what you’re doing,” RuPaul added.

Season 9 of RuPaul's Drag Race premieres Friday, March 24 on VH1.