The New York Times in a recent “self-care” article promoting “the rising drag stars of America” chose to feature not famous drag adults or even young adults, but minors, sending a clear message.
“Meet the rising drag stars of America. They’re tweens,” the article entitled, “Sashaying Their Way Through Youth,” reads.
The “rising drag stars” include 14-year-old drag queen known as Ophelia Peaches, 12-year-old drag star Desmond “is Amazing” Napoles, and 9-year-old drag queen (or, princess?) Kween Keekee.
The piece shares insight about how the stars’ parents fully supporting their children’s lifestyle decisions, even proactively using platforms like Instagram to promote (err, market) their kids’ drag styles.
The Times also features a section titled “Parenting Today,” where they cite one clinical psychologist who says doing drag as a child doesn’t necessarily correlate with being queer or trans.
The psychologist also praises “no judgment" parents, allowing children to be more expressive and “free to explore” nowadays.
“Laura Edwards-Leeper, a clinical psychologist in Oregon who works with queer and trans kids, said that experimenting with gender expression isn’t necessarily linked to being queer or trans,” The Times writes. “‘It’s normal at basically any age for boys to dress up as princesses and girls in male superhero outfits,’ she said. What’s changed is parenting. ‘When there’s no judgment, kids are more likely to feel free to explore,” Dr. Edwards-Leeper said.”
The Times then goes on to mention an example where a 14-year-old boy explored doing drag and then came out as trans a few years later. That sounds like a possible correlation, no?
The New York Times throughout the piece describes drag as an “art form,” romanticizing the sexualization of minors and even calling it “subversive.”