The world is changing. It’s fierce (in a good way). Somewhere in it, among everyone else trying to break out of their insecurity shells, is a young boy named Ethan. This 8-year-old heard the call to become something outside of the status quo, and he’s rocking it with untethered passion. Ethan wants to dress in drag and, with the support of his mom, he’s making it happen. Keep reading to see the professionally made-up Ethan donning his dream appearance — that of a fierce drag queen.
A boy. Ethan isn’t any different than the other boys. He has goals. He has aspirations. He has dreams. His dream just so happens to be dressing up in drag. Some might call it unorthodox, but it really shouldn’t matter in any case.
Making it happen. Makeup artist Joey Killmeyer understood that he wasn’t just working on a client when Ethan came to him. He knew that this wasn’t just a case of a child getting done up. This was big. This was representative of a more accepting society. It was change.
Just another workday. After the session, Killmeyer took to Facebook, expressing his excitement. “I was not originally scheduled today but was filling in,” he wrote. “This is Ethan, he is 8. He wanted to learn drag make-up.” And Killmeyer treated him like any other customer, except he acknowledged the significance of not only a boy embracing his femininity, but a mother allowing it.
Forward. Though it may never be possible to live in a world where people universally accept one another, it proves a lot when someone like Ethan can step out and embrace himself. It might insignificant to some people. It might just seem like a boy dressing up in makeup. But it’s so much more than that. It’s proof of wider acceptance of those who do not fit the norm.
The fan. Ethan is an enormous fan of drag queen Jefree Star, a performer from California who is a major name in the drag community. Every kid finds their inspiration somewhere. According to Pink News, Star is a singer, a fashion designer and a makeup artist. Some kids hide what makes them unique. Ethan embraced it.
The non-supporters. Naturally, not everyone is a fan. Some critics have made their opinions public via Facebook, commenting things like “No. Just no,” and “totally inappropriate.” A person can’t make everyone happy, unfortunately. But all the same, it does help the point that some people will behave in a way that suits them, rather than trying to appeal to the opinions of complete strangers.
A creative hand. Ethan didn’t just want to be dolled up — he wanted to learning a thing or two about applying makeup. Once Killmeyer had applied one side of makeup to Ethan’s face, Ethan grabbed the necessary tools and followed suit on the other half. It was truly a joint effort of creativity.
Appropriateness. Some commenters have deemed the look inappropriate for someone his age, regardless of sexual identity. However, that’s not what is so significant about this. This isn’t about a child sexualizing himself. Rather, it’s about a boy expressing himself in a way that is contrary to traditional gender roles. He’s being expressive. He’s embracing himself. He’s embracing a culture.
Haters gonna hate. As is the case with any situation that is likely to spark controversy, people have openly shared their opposition. But many stand in defense of Ethan. One commenter on Towel Road wrote, “This kid will grow up to be well-adjusted, self-actualized, and will literally give not one f**k to the remaining insecure misogynists in our culture who will likely toss out insults at this kid from a place of cowardly anonymity.” This painlessly sums up what can only be described as #truth.
Better and better. The world is becoming a more accepting place. For all of the bad that might spill out of it, there’s good. Public and private organizations are accepting — and even embracing — the LGBT community, including any subcultures within it. This proves that change is always on the horizon.
More than sex. The world of dressing up in drag is not solely about sex. In fact, it doesn’t have to be about sex at all. It’s about representation. It’s about breaking social norms and doing as you please (as long as “what you please” doesn’t hurt anybody).
Other kids in drag. The SoHo Playhouse in New York City showcased a new play called “Commedia Rapunzel,” where children dressed in drag to perform characters outside of their assigned gender. Slate reported on this play, pointing out that the show was focused solely on general acceptance. It’s OK to be different. It’s OK for kids to be different. Allowing children to embrace this side of themselves at a young age can help them feel more comfortable in their own skin. The show wants to make people feel more comfortable around people in drag, especially if it’s something they don’t encounter on a regular basis.
Growing up with an understanding. Kids are like sponges for information. If you feed them negativity, they’ll absorb it. But if you feed them the opposite, they’ll do just the same. In San Francisco, they’re trying to promote that very idea by holding book readings in public libraries for children ready by people dressed in drag. Things are weird if kids believe them to be weird. If they’re taught otherwise, they’ll think otherwise.
Integration. Exposing kids to drag culture won’t automatically make them want to dress in drag (not that there’d be anything wrong with it). It just helps open them up to a world different than their own, which couldn’t be more healthy for a child to experience. SF Gate reported on this story, quoting Radar’s executive director Juliano Delgado: “I think generally queers are not mixed with kids — especially drag queens. It’s really beautiful to have drag queens painting children’s faces and telling stories. It’s disrupting that idea that queers can’t mix with kids.”
History of abuse. People are afraid of what they don’t understand. This should never be the case. When a lack of understanding leads to any form of abuse, it just proves that educating children is a vital necessity. For the sake of current drag queens and children who want to become drag queens, acceptance could not be more important.
Source: Rebel Circus