As the popularity of drag as art and expression continues to grow, more and more folks are finding their creativity, pride, and tribes through the community and culture of gender exploration. The Boomerang network’s show Kids in Drag shines light on how impactful this scene can be for young folks who are navigating through the queer and alternative life.
Dragutante, a group that connects youth who do drag with mentors and each other, is an annual celebration hosted right here in Denver, and it is the only event of its kind in the world. Three young boys from across the pond were invited with “Kids in Drag” to participate in the second ever Dragutante and show the world why youth drag is so important.
We find our very own Power Gala winner Ophelia Peaches acting not only as the fabulous queen we know her to be, but also a mentor to the first-year kids. Showing the European kids what American drag is all about, they check out the drag brunch at Vine Street and then head over to Hamburger Mary’s where Ophelia made her debut only a few short years ago.
Empowered by drag, the kids network and build community that they are unlikely to find at home and in their schools and neighborhoods. The evident shift in self-confidence and creative voice is undeniable from before to after drag. Validation from our peers is what we all seek, and through drag and Dragutante, these kids have been able to find that.
From photoshoots to pageantry, the biggest looks to the most demure personas, the fluidity of being is what the “Kids in Drag” show embraces. Differentiations of names in drag and out of drag, pronoun switching and nonbinary pronoun embracing, and flamboyance from all is not only accepted, it is encouraged. There are no rules; there are no societal expectations, and gender norms are out the window as the kids play and prepare for the big show.
Dragutante saw another successful performance at The Oriental Theater in Northwest Denver, and the authenticity, strength, charisma, and community adoration prove that the more we are genuine to ourselves and embrace each other for our differences, the more we can truly understand and love one another.
“Kids in Drag” exploits the humanity of drag and challenges us all to don our fiercest looks and strut out into the world being our most authentic selves.
*Photo from Dragutante Facebook page