Leo Noakes — a.k.a. Violet Vixen — is an 11-year old English lad from Leicester who loves drag the way many kids his age love video games. He’s obsessed. He knows shoes, has his own color palettes and his Mum Lauren couldn’t be more proud.
In an appearance on the British ITV chat show, Loose Women, Lauren told the hosts of the show that Leo has had a long-standing infatuation with drag, and that she sees his interest as no more threatening or worrisome than any hobby a child might have.
Around the time he was six, she remembers that she had it all tossed out — not as an act of judgment, but in the same way one might get rid of children’s playthings when they outgrow them. And when that happened, she admits she did try to gently steer her young son into pastimes that were considered more traditionally “boyish.” Because Leo is also interested in cars, his Mum thought to encourage that.
Ironically enough, when Leo was looking at online drag racing he came across — you guessed it: RuPaul’s Drag Race. His desire to wear dresses. wigs and make-up returned with a vengeance, and this time Lauren thought the boy should do and be what makes him happy.
Lauren says Leo has told her, “I’m a boy, I like being a boy, just because I’ve got a penis doesn’t mean I can’t wear a dress.” As he sees it, drag is less about being a female than about having the freedom to dress up and do “girlish” things. That’s really the origin story behind Leo’s other identity, Violet Vixen. In fact, Leo came up with his drag name partially in tribute to a few of his favorite contestants on Drag Race — Violet Chachki and The Vixen.
The pre-teen drag queen says that wearing dresses, heels, wigs and make-up have added to his confidence, and Mum Lauren agrees that it’s all perfectly in keeping with the personality he’s had as long as she’s known him. He’s “always been flamboyant and a big character and he’s always been wanting to dress in high heels and dresses and things”.
Now there’s a short documentary that takes a peek into this remarkable boy’s life. “The film is a celebration of expression,” the filmmakers say, “that really emphasises how drag queens can be important role models in people’s lives.”
View the full film here:
Last modified: August 9, 2018