A mum has said she’s extremely proud of her trailblazing 11-year old son, who’s come out as a drag queen.
Lauren Noakes always suspected her son, Leo, was different from the other boys in his year, but even she didn’t realise how courageous and strong her son truly was.
Leo’s an extremely brave little boy who, despite the taunts of bullies and the questions of confused adults, openly identifies as male but enjoys wearing feminine clothing and make-up to school, as well as at home.
Hi ?, I’m ?Leo? A.K.A ?Violet Vixen?, from the UK. I’m an 11 year old drag kid and a passionate makeup artist and dancer! #makeup#makeupaddict#beauty#drag#love#cute#follow#followme#me#photooftheday#selfie#mua#makeupartist#happy#self#fashion#fun#picoftheday#instagood#businesschic#like#dragqueen#dragkid#queen
His mum first realised Leo was different when he was a toddler.
Lauren claims he was always intensely interested in feminine clothes and would watch, ‘transfixed as she chose clothes, did her hair, and put her makeup on’.
She told the Mirror she first believed this was just a phase or novelty and he’d grow out of it – even when he’d ask Lauren’s friends for their hand-me-downs.
However, over time, Lauren’s insecurities began to play on her mind and she became worried about Leo.
She told the Mirror:
I was careful not to make an issue of it, and the last thing I wanted was to shame Leo. But if I’m honest, I did think it was a bit strange.
I questioned whether it was my influence. Back then I liked Rihanna and Beyoncé. Was he picking up on them? I had no idea how to handle it.
My partner Sean and I got together when Leo was three, so until then he had no father figure. I felt guilty for the part I played. And when a friend warned I was making Leo gay, and that he may not have a happy life, I was crushed.
Although I’d never discriminate, I hated the thought of making Leo’s life difficult.
Worried for her son, when he turned six, she threw away his ‘dress up clothes’ and asked friends and family to instead nurture his other interest – ‘cars’.
This briefly worked but eventually, Lauren noticed he was still interested in fashion and beauty. Things came to a head when a friend informed her she’d seen Leo watching RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Shocked her son was watching such an ‘adult’ programme in secret, she banned Leo from watching it and deleted the Netflix app from his iPad.
However Leo pleaded with his mum to let him watch the show and, seeing how passionate he felt about it, she relented after having a discussion about what is and isn’t appropriate to talk about.
RuPaul’s Drag Race gave Leo the confidence he needed, as well as allowing him to see he wasn’t alone in his interests. He started to wear feminine clothes around the house but didn’t feel brave enough to go out just yet.
It was the taunting of other boys, who laughed at his long hair and teased him, which pushed him into showing the world who he really was and going to school in clothes Leo felt most comfortable in.
On the first day of Year Five, I walked him through the playground, nervously glancing at the black leggings, butterfly shoes and girls’ cardi he was wearing.
We’d bought them together after I’d seen how much it meant to him. His beaming smile meant I knew he’d found his true identity. I couldn’t have felt prouder of my trailblazing son.
When teachers would question his new uniform and whether Leo wanted to be a girl Lauren would explain to them, he identifies as male but he just likes wearing feminine clothes.
Lauren said the teachers were ‘great’ and helped Leo’s classmates understand why Leo was dressed the way he was.
In an attempt to reach out to the wider ‘Drag Community’ Leo set up an Instagram to share his outfits and makeup looks he’d created, and while Lauren admits she was worried at first about trolling, the benefits outweigh the risks.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism.
Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV.
He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.