Set The Bar
Lifestyle in Style

“Drag Kids”: This is Going to be Very Controversial

An earlier version of Drag Kids? The late JonBenet Ramsey: Photo U.K. Express

This documentary will be showing on CBC DOCS POV on July 25th and on the CBC News Network on July 28th. If it does not stir up some huge controversy, I’ll be mighty surprised.

This is the story of four children between the ages of 10-12 who love performing as drag queens at various events and competitions. 3 are boys (one from the United States, one from Montreal and a Brit from Spain) and one is a girl from Vancouver. Neither their parents or the children admit to any gayness or gender confusion just rather that they are unusual and enjoy being themselves.

Something in my opinion just seems off kilter encouraging these children to become drag queens in training. Remember the late JonBenét Ramsey participating in beauty pageants as a small child? I recall some outrage after her murder about young children performing in “otherwise adult competitions”. Is this any different? The parents see nothing wrong with this and ride out the derision and criticism they receive for allowing their children to participate in these events within the confines of the LGBTQ community who by those we see (and there are few) in the film gush about how wonderful this is.

One parent says that you raise your children the way you want and I’ll raise mine the way I want. If I want my child to be a cannibal can I choose to raise my child that way? No there are social limits and have the parents of these Drag Kids have crossed it and justify it by freedom of choice? Should there be social and legal limits? I really wonder if the LGBTQ community as a whole supports this treatment of young children. Is there something going wrong here?

I have nothing against Dragging and Voguing but participation by young children in these activities rings my alarm bells. My instincts give me a bad feeling about this and it has nothing to do with being anti-LGBTQ. Children are vulnerable and need protection. Or are they learning fundamental values of competition, winning and losing, manners, teamwork and friendship? Is participation in drag queen events no different than playing on a sports team, taking ballet or jazz dance and participating in related competitions and games? Watch all four of them combining to perform in drag at Montreal Pride. The parents are beaming pride and joy. What do you think? The PR blurb calls this a revolutionary and heart-warming story. Revolutionary yes but chilling and not heart-warming? I think you are going to have to sort out many questions after watching the documentary. They participate in a voguing competition next day where the emcee says, “This is your place to come out.”

There are no easy calls on this documentary unless of course you are on the extreme right. The more to the liberal spectrum you are the more difficult the call. What I am most interested are the views of the LGTBQ community on this.

I will say watch at least 35 minutes of the film and you will be a bit dazed and confused. We Canadians can make good docs.

This is an 89-minute-long documentary directed by Megan Wennberg.

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