Bracken Hanke describes herself as a “fairly typical 13-year-old girl.”
“I love singing, acting and hanging out with my friends. I spend countless hours sketching, felting and playing ukulele in my bedroom,” she writes in a guest article for the Huffington Post. “But there’s one thing that makes me a little different from many other kids: I’m also a drag queen.”
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, female drag queens, not to be confused with “drag kings” who are women dressed as men, are a thing.
When Hanke was just nine years old, she recalls, she saw her mother watching a clip of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” on her phone.
Sadly, this wasn’t Hanke’s first exposure to drag queens, as she says her family had gone to watch the Vancouver Pride parade every year and some of their friends even performed in drag.
Something about the “gorgeous women” (women?) “in flamboyant gowns, crazy hair and dramatic makeup I saw walking down a long, sleek catwalk” on “Drag Race” piqued her interest, however, and from then on Hanke says she was “hooked.”
Hanke began watching the show with her mother, who introduced her to “Alaska,” her favorite drag queen: “I loved the bizarre outfits she wore on the runways. I loved everything about her. Then it dawned on me: If Alaska could wear a dress made out of garbage bags and still make it look good, why couldn’t I?”
Hanke’s dreams of becoming a girl drag queen were almost stifled before they began when her mother, a fashion stylist, worried that her little girl dressing in “drag” would be a form of cultural appropriation.
“I didn’t understand why I wasn’t allowed to dress like these queens I idolized,” Hanke writes. “My mom told me she was concerned it might be seen as appropriation ― that drag queens had a long history of being persecuted for what they did and who they were and that it might not be appropriate for me, someone who never experienced the things most of them had, to begin dressing in drag.”
It wasn’t until months later when Hanke and her mother were chatting with a drag queen friend who told them about a kind of drag queen called a “hyper queen,” which hanke describes as “a drag queen who identifies as female both in and out of drag and who often hyper-feminizes themselves while performing.”
With that, Hanke’s mother immediately caved and handed over her makeup collection.
For the first year of her “drag journey,” Hanke says it was difficult to find events to participate in that were “appropriate for children.”
Well, we certainly can believe that!
Ultimately, she was taken under the wing of her drag “mother,” Ralph Escamillan, and dove into “ballroom culture” and hyper-sexualized “vogue” dancing.
Hanke was also featured in the controversial “Drag Kids” documentary alongside infamous drag kid “Desmond Is Amazing.”
“Drag brings me so much happiness,” Hanke says, explaining why she “loves” drag. “It is my creative outlet, it helps me express myself, and there are no ruIes or limits. I dance, sing, sew outfits, create characters and play dress-up.”
Hanke also argues that children shouldn’t be kept from participating in drag because of the “misconception that all drag is about adult jokes and risqué content.”
“Of course some drag shows might not be appropriate for me to attend, just like some movies aren’t appropriate for me to watch,” she declares. “When I perform, it is usually at drag brunches or drag queen story times, where drag queens read books and perform for kids, often at libraries. They’re a fantastic opportunity for queer (and non-queer) kids and families to come together and be a part of their community. I believe drag is, and should be, for everybody.”
This is right up there with “youth pole dancing,” people. These folks want to “redeem” an inherently offensive, sexualized practice as an “art form” and make it suitable for all ages.
In reality, Hanke is no more a “drag queen” than the typical fashion model who dons outrageous outfits and makeup for a runway show. She is a girl who likes to wear crazy, outlandish outfits and makeup, nothing more. In other words, she’s a typically little girl who, because she lives in this twisted modern culture, is emulating cross-dressers instead of pop stars.
Lord, help us.
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