Who Would Do This to an 8-Year-Old Boy?
On Friday, the global fashion magazine Elle published a video featuring an 8-year-old boy named Nemis dressing up as a drag queen named Lactatia.
"I've been wearing my sister's tutu since I was like threes and fours, even like twos, and I've been dancing around in my little pink dresses and stuff, so yeah I think I've had Lactatia inside me since I was born, that's why I love that song 'Born This Way,'" Nemis said in the video.
The boy took on the idea that children (at age 8!) should not even know what a "drag queen" is. "I know people would like go up to their parents and tell them that they want to be a drag queen, and then their parents would be like, 'You shouldn't even know what that is.'"
"I don't think that that should be a thing, I don't think that other people should judge what people do," Nemis said. Parents shouldn't judge their children or have a say in what they know or do?
The boy said he looks up to drag queens. "I love them because they do what they want to do and they're not afraid to do it," Nemis said. "My friends at school think Lactatia's very courageous. She's really good at dancing, they also think that she's really good at playing video games and stuff like that."
His mother, Jessica, backed up the story of his early cross-dressing. "When he was about two, he came to me with Mr. Potato Head earrings, and asked me to put makeup on him," the mother recalled. "So we did a little like drag photoshoot, and he duck faced, and he was sweet! And every time he wanted makeup, I just put some on him."
The boy's mother described the whole experience as "overwhelming — you feel overwhelmed by pride that your child is expressing themselves, and showing the world, and it's being so well received, and she's pretty good at what she does."
Yes, the mother referred to her son as "she." This gender confusion ran through Nemis's own view of himself. While he identified as a "diva" over and over again, he seemed unclear as to whether or not a man can be a "diva."
"Lactatia is a diva," the boy explained. "A diva can be a drag queen, a diva can just be a woman, a diva can be a man — but I wouldn't really call a man a diva, I would call a man a div-ler."