Just a little bit too naughty...

naughty-nora1A news article came out of the UK the other day about a 12 year old boy who had just done something no other 12 year old boy has ever done before (that I am aware of). He entered, and won, a drag queen competition.

Under the guise “Naughty Nora” , Redvers Stokes wowed the judges with his Dolly Parton and Michael Jackson routine and took home the crown.

His parents were both quite chuffed with their son, his mother stating how proud she was of him and his father claiming he thought the whole thing was hilarious. Bloggers galore have jumped on this as wonderful and progressive and hailing the mother and father and “great parents” for being so supportive of their son's dream, and in some ways I do agree.

On the surface it really does seem like a bit of harmless fun, and good on the kid and his parents for being so cool. However, I really can't help but think there's something a little wrong with the whole thing overall.

Now, before you go jumping up and down at me and calling me a bigot (like was done when I mentioned these same points on a forum about the topic the other day) I want to say unequivocally that I am not “anti-gay” I am not “anti children expressing themselves” and I am also not “anti parent's supporting their kids.” Also, for what it's worth, even though it makes no difference to my argument, the kid in question isn't gay, he just finds the whole thing a bit of a laugh. Which is okay too... on the surface...

What I am anti, is the sexualisation of minors. Which, when you really think about it, and scratch beneath the surface, is what this is.

Firstly let's look at Drag Queens. The culture, the nature of the shows and the underlying sexiness of them. Have you ever been to a drag show? Not only are they usually at pubs (where a 12 year old is not allowed), they are also full of innuendo, double entendre, smut, pussy jokes and tales about big cocks. They are absolutely sex-laden and most definitely not appropriate for children.

Then we have his name “Naughty Nora”. Now, sure, to most kids naughty is what you do when you steal an extra biscuit from the barrel or paint your baby brother's head with mum's good lipstick, but to adults, especially those who work in the sex industry (which is where Drag Queens are based), “naughty” is a very sexy term and I highly doubt anyone at the show took his “naughty” moniker as being the term for a disobedient child.

His outfit consisted of a tight pink gown, a long blonde wig, make up, high heels and massive fake boobs. Funny, yes. Appropriate for a 12 year old, I just don't think so.

I suppose one way to really make my point is to swap this all around:

Take the female equivalent of Drag. What would that be? Burlesque perhaps? Maybe even a pole dance show? Now take a twelve year old girl. Dress her up in the outfits;  the make up, the padded bra and the thigh high boots, then give her a name like “Kandy Kane” and send her out to a “Miss Pole Dance” competition.

Proud mum and dad would be on the next expose on “Today Tonight” faster than you can call DOCS and we would all be yelling about how inappropriate the whole thing is and how dare we allow our children to be exposed to such highly sexualised content!

So why is this any different? Is it because it was a boy dressed as a sexual being? Is it because it is more of a parody of a sexy woman than a “real” sexy woman? Or is it because (like I discovered the other day) people are so frightened to be labelled a bigot or a hater if they disagree with something like this that they just smile and nod and say “Oh, isn't that cute”?

Like I stated earlier I am not a bigot in any way, shape or form. I love Drag. One of my best friends in the world is a lesbian (and so is her partner by the way) and many many more of my friends are gay too (there is even a drag queen in the bunch who I spoke to about this and who agrees with my sentiment). I myself am bisexual and I work in the sex industry, and I know what discrimination can feel like. I think everyone has the right to be accepted and loved regardless of their sexuality. I think schools should have gay and lesbian relationships as part of their sex education curriculum, I shout “kudos” to those young kids who have come out and live proudly as homosexuals and I am all for kids being kids and expressing themselves. However, this particular instance only serves to make me think of double standards and hypocrisy and it all just feels a little bit creepy.

But maybe that's just me...

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