On Monday, 10-year-old Canadian boy Nemis Quinn Mélançon-Golden was featured in a troubling Huck Magazine piece highlighting the life of a so-called “child drag queen.”
Young Nemis, whose drag name is “Queen Lactacia,” was shot by photographer Jonathan Frederick Turton for the spread. In one of the shots that did not make the magazine, Nemis, in full drag makeup and a black dress, is posing for a photo with the Season 7 winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Violet Chachki. In the shocking photo, Violet is wearing nothing but a pair of heels and a small piece of fabric covering his genitals, as seen in the screenshot below:
— molly (@roughly_speakin) January 11, 2019
“Interviewed and photographed [Queen Lactatia] for [Huck Magazine] about life as a child drag queen,” posted Turton.
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Interviewed and photographed @queenlactatia for @huckmagazine about life as a child drag queen. Head over to their website. @violetchachki @rupaulsdragcon #photography #journalism #dragqueen #portraits #huck #magazine #drag #lgbtq #subculture #newyork #transgender #trans #rupaulsdragrace #dragcon #canon #5d
Turton, according to his website, “is a multi-media content producer with specialisms in photography, videography and journalism.” He claims to have shot for mainstream outlets and businesses like the BBC, Adidas, Dazed and Confused Magazine, and The Discovery Channel.
In the jarring Huck Magazine piece — which ironically bashes Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro for calling out parents for over-sexualizing their “drag kids” — Nemis’ mother, Jessica Melancon, conceded that drag has a sexual component and is unapologetic about her young son wearing sexually suggestive clothing if it “makes him feel beautiful”:
“Drag is an adult arena and that’s where people question our judgement,” concedes Jessica. “So we have to censor things. He knows there are adult aspects of drag that he’s not allowed to apply to his show.”
“We would never try to overtly sexualise our child. But if he wears something that makes him feel beautiful, what right do I have to stop him wearing that dress because it might cause people to think things they shouldn’t be thinking? It’s a circular problem.”
In 2017, Nemis appeared on stage with popular drag queen Bianca Del Rio at a drag show his mother brought him to. The clip of the two on stage together, wherein the drag queen repeatedly uses the word “b****” and drops an “f”-bomb, quickly went viral.
“That video happened and everyone went crazy,” Jessica recalled. “But we knew from the get-go we never wanted to lose control, or lose sight of it being fun for Nemis.”
According to Jessica, drag is “how Nemis chooses to express himself. He’s just a kid playing.”
“There is so much more going on in the world right now which is more horrifying and terrifying than my child wearing fancy shoes and a skirt. This shouldn’t be on anyone’s list of priorities,” she added.
Nemis also appears to already be an LGBT advocate. “Choose Love. Be Proud. Smash the Patriarchy and be kind to one another, always! #pride #lovenothate#loveislove #nonbinary #thefutureisfluid,” reads a post on the boy’s Instagram account, which is said to be run by his mother.
In December, an 11-year-old named Desmond Napoles performed a sexually-suggestive musical number in full drag at a New York City-based gay bar called 3 Dollar Bill. The boy received dollar bills from the adult males in the audience, as one might see at in a strip club.
As reported by The Daily Wire, Desmond (AKA Desmond is Amazing) “was dressed as a Gwen Stefani-lookalike — full drag make up, a blonde wig, and crop top included — as he bounced around onstage to No Doubt’s ‘Like a Girl’ and collected dollar bills from male adults viewing the number.”