When your stage name is Laddy Gaga, one might expect fabulousness.
But this lad is only 8 years old and still has temper tantrums. Young Stephan aka Laddy Gaga is a drag queen. Megan Wennberg follows the colorful lives of 4 children in Drag Kids. In some ways these are typical kids, but when the hair and makeup goes on, they don a persona much more fierce than the one they live in ordinary day to day life.
Stephan’s mom is outraged that her son could be accused of perversity. To her, her son’s hobby is not sexual and people should learn to separate the extreme canvas of drag vs. sexuality. She mocks the childish adults who bother her son with questions like “Are you gay?” She says how should he know, he is only eight!
The mother of Montreal drag kid Queen Lactatia feels similarly. Among the drag kids’ parents, it’s unanimous that adults should stop sexualizing the art of drag. It’s kids dressing up and lip synching. These children are suffering abuse at the hands of adults. As Lactatia further clarifies, a drag queen is not a man who wants to be a woman. (S)he is a man who puts on a feminine persona.
In the case of Vancouver’s 13-year old Bracken, this materializes by over-exaggerating her own female features. Her shtick is about hyper-feminization. A hyper-queen and self proclaimed weirdo, this little girl embodies fierceness. Not so much because she puts on funky dresses and paints her eyebrows to the sky. But because she has been brought up to be an independent thinker. A strong woman in the making, she takes care of the younger queens and has natural leadership abilities. Yet in her everyday life, people told her she cannot be a drag queen. Heaven forbid a girl should impersonate a strong female.
Shot largely in Montreal as 4 little individuals converge to perform as a group to Lady Gaga’s music, Drag Kids gives us a glimpse at not only the child’s point of view, but also that of their parents. As one of the kids says, “Growing up is hard”. Unfortunately, adults don’t necessarily make it easier, although that is what their role is meant to be. These stage parents are role models who pours love into child rearing, and support their child whether (s)he is playing dress-up in Mommy’s high heels or taking it to the extreme impersonating Lady Gaga on a club stage.
November 23rd, 2019. 7 PM SGWU – Concordia University Auditorium H-110
November 24th, 2019. 3:30 PM Cinéma du Parc