Mom faces threats for letting her child do drag

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The mother of a non-binary child who loves dressing up in drag has revealed the threats she received from other parents for supporting her child’s gender expression. Jemma Lovell, from Shrewsbury, said her child Oz found out about drag when they saw snippets of Drag Race and began to experiment with makeup, telling their mom that they understood the feelings of these people, as they did not feel like a boy (Oz was assigned as male at birth). In August 2018 the whole family, which includes Oz’s father and sibling Willow, attended Chester Pride celebrations, where they read a poster about the ways of gender expression and ‘officially’ came out as non-binary. Oz’s mum helped them get in touch with other kids that do drag, and they have performed to friends and at local talent shows. But Lovell said that while their family accepted non-binary, drag-loving Oz, parents of their classmates were not ready for it. They threatened to call social service and to complain that Oz was sexually abused. Lovell said on it: “People tend to automatically sexualize drag, assuming Oz will come out dressed in hip pads and fake breasts, but we carefully vet everything to make sure that nothing is age-inappropriate. We make it clear Oz is still a child, no matter how high the heels or big the wig. When Oz puts on that dress and becomes [their drag alter-ego] Ben, it’s awe-inspiring to watch”.

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