Identity

🔥🔥🔥 Photos of the Fabulous Kids of RuPaul's Drag Convention

"I've been doing drag since I was two. I would take my mom's towels and bed sheets and anything I could get my hands on and turn them into savage outfits, yaas."

by Jamie Lee Curtis Taete
May 15 2018, 3:15am

When I was a kid, all I wanted was girl toys.

My dad was super against it and always made me get boy ones instead, but, one year, I somehow convinced my mum to buy me a My Little Pony stable playset.

Unfortunately, when my dad found out, he took it back to Toys "R" Us and swapped it for a Stretch Armstrong. Not even the slightly-more-queer-friendly Fetch Armstrong. The big, butch, boring muscle man, Stretch.

I got around this system by playing with the girliest boy toys I could trick my parents into getting for me. Like Janine from Ghostbusters and Castaspella and any video game with a lady character.

One time, my school had a charity thing where you could get sponsored to go to classes in costume. I, along with two friends, decided to dress as Eternal, a three-piece girl group I was really into. I borrowed some of my sister's clothes, and spent a whole weekend making a wig out of a hat and some yarn.

When I got to school, it turned out to have been a prank. The other two boys didn't dress up, and I had to spend the entire day in a denim mini skirt and platforms, alone. Luckily, I was able to use the homemade wig to hide the fact I was crying.

Anyway. None of that kind of behavior was on display at last weekend’s RuPaul’s DragCon, an annual drag convention with events in New York and Los Angeles. For its second year, the convention had free entrance for children under ten, and a kids zone with a bounce house, arts and crafts, and a slate of kid-friendly activities.

I went along to the LA event and spoke to some of the kids I saw walking around the convention hall.

Bracken, 11 years old

VICE: What brings you to DragCon?
Bracken: It was actually a Christmas present from my parents. I’ve always been in love with drag.

Who’re some of your favorite queens?
Local or RuPaul’s Drag Race?

Gimme both.
For RuPaul’s Drag Race, my favorite queen is probably Alaska, but I like all of them really. And then local, the Bratpack group I really like. I’m close with one of them, Kendall Gender.

That’s a really good name.
Right?

What do you like about drag?
Well, I started watching RuPaul’s Drag Race, and that was the real push to get me into drag, but my mom used to be on the floats for the Vancouver Pride parade, so I would always look at the queens up on the floats and admire them and their style. But I started doing drag when I was nine years old and that was when it really took off for me, I started learning all about the culture.

How did you develop your drag persona?
Well, I don’t actually fully have a drag persona. I don’t even have a drag name yet, because normally you get your drag name from your drag mother, and that’s like a super organic thing. Like, it’s a queen that nurtures you, and that you learn a lot from. I don’t have a drag mother yet so I don’t really have a drag persona really. When I’m in drag it’s just an overconfident me, really.

Is this the first time you’ve been out in public in drag?
No, no. I’m quite often going out to whatever all ages events I can get into. I’ve been on public transit a lot, and I’ve just been kinda of going around the city in drag whenever is necessary. I’m quite active in the city in my drag.


Brody, nine years old

VICE: What brings you to DragCon?
Brody: My brother wanted to come, and I wanted to see what it is and what it’s about. And my favorite drag queen is Peppermint.

What do you like about Peppermint?
I like her dresses and stuff that she makes.

Who did your makeup today?
My brother. He puts it on. I don’t know how to put on makeup.

What do you like about makeup?
The eyeliner and stuff.

What do you like about drag ?
I don’t know.
Brody's brother: He’s done it a couple of times.

You’ve worn drag before?
Brody's brother: At home.

What was your drag look when you wore it?
Brother:
Say dramatic.
Brody: Dramatic, yeah.

Desmond Is Amazing, ten years old

VICE: How long have you been doing drag for?
Desmond: I’ve been doing drag ever since I was two. What I would do is I would take my mom’s towels and bed sheets and anything I could get my hands on and turn them into savage outfits, yaas.

How would you describe your drag look?
I would describe my drag as artistic, amazing, fierce, and inspirational.

Who are you most excited to see here?
RuPaul!

Have you met RuPaul before?
Yes. I actually got to cut the ribbon at New York City DragCon with him. It was fun.

What do you like about drag?
It’s a way of expressing yourself. Of expressing your inner you.

You’ve done interviews and stuff before, right? What has the reaction been like?
A lot of people love me. But there’s some hate. And I just pay them no mind, because they’re not as fierce as me and my motto is, "Be yourself always no matter what anyone says and pay haters no mind because they’re not as fierce as you, yaas!"

Lucien, three, and Garren, one, with parents Jeff and Cassie

VICE: Can I interview you?
Jeff: You can try! I don’t know if you’ll get much.

What brings you to DragCon?
Jeff: Just big fans of Drag Race.

Are the kids fans, too?
Jeff: When it’s on, other than the flashy colors, I don’t know if they pay attention to anything else.

Was the skirt your idea?
Jeff: He picked it out.
Cassie: I actually made it for him. He asked for a skirt, so I let him pick out the fabric and I made it.

Is it just a look for DragCon?
Jeff: He’s had the skirt for a while. He actually just said he wanted the skirt, so she made it for him.
Cassie: Probably at least six months. And he’s worn it before to the playground.

What’s the reaction been like?
Cassie: Mostly it’s fine. I’ve had a few people give me funny looks, but mostly it’s just been like, Alright he’s playing.
Jeff: I’ve had no issue at the grocery store with him in it.

Naomi, nine years old

VICE: What brings you to DragCon?
Naomi's friend, Nora:
We’re from Tiny Bangs. We’re an alternative kids clothing line. It’s run by Naomi, her little sister, and their mom Kirsten.

Do you design the clothes, Naomi?
Naomi: Me and my mom do.

Did you have a hand in designing [your outfit]?
Naomi: My mom made this. Everything I’m wearing except the boots and [the ponytail]. I’m a toxic slime queen.

Is toxic slime always your look? Or do you mix it up?
Naomi: I mix it up.

What are some other looks you’ve had?
Naomi: I’ve had angel, I’ve had a rainbow one.
Nora: What’re you doing the rest of this weekend?
Naomi: Cher. And then for the last one, on Sunday, I’m doing a Lisa Frank look.

Have you been to DragCon before?
Naomi: This is actually my first time.

Do you like any of the queens that are here?
Naomi: I wanna meet Katya and RuPaul.

What do you like about Katya and RuPaul?
Naomi: I love when [Katya] did the lip sync about all her names, and I really liked those really cool pink pigtails she did.

Alia, nine, and Quentin, two, with parents Austin and Chelsey

Who picked your outfits?
Austin: [Alia] actually made hers.

You made that? That’s amazing.
Austin: It’s an Alaska outfit.
Chelsea: [Quentin is] a skirt boy.
Austin: That’s an Adore Delano classic right here. Little Adore Delano.

Is Alaska your favorite queen?
Alia:
Yeah.

What do you like about Alaska?
Alia: Everything.
Austin: Alaska is all of our favorite, honestly.

Does [Quentin] like Drag Race?
Austin: Yeah.
Alia: He likes wearing my dresses and running around.

Follow Jamie Lee Curtis Taete on Instagram.

Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.