A Conservative Christian community has been supportive of a nine year-old boy’s desire to become a drag queen, the youngster’s relieved mom said. Keegan, from a suburb of Austin in Texas, first shared his ambition last year after his class was asked by their teacher to write what they wanted to become on their mini white boards.
Keegan’s mom, who asked not to be named to avoid any backlash, says she and his father Chris have been supportive of their son, and have let him wear dresses since he began asking to do so aged three.
The mother told Reuters she was heartened by the school’s reaction, saying: ‘We expected a lot of pushback from the school and we expected some intolerance, but we’ve been very surprised.’
Keegan, who adopts the name Kween Kee-Kee when in drag, first shared his desire with his classmates last year, and has since been taken under the wing of several Austin drag queens.
Recalling the moment Keegan held up his ‘drag queen’ board, his teacher said: ‘One of the students asked, “What’s that?’ and Keegan kind of said “I don’t know” and moved past it.
‘But I do see little, like, hints of him trying to make people aware that this is something that he is, something that he does.’
The teacher says neither she nor her principal have had any formal training on gender identity, but that they are happy to let Keegan explore his wish ‘at his own pace.’
Keegan recently came out as gay, and prefers being addressed using the ‘he’ and ‘him’ pronouns when not in drag. He also enjoys football and video games in his spare time, just like most other boys his age.
The youngster attended his local Drag Con convention for drag queens in 2018, flanked by his mom, dad and brother Noah – and wore a silver top, rainbow wig and brightly-colored makeup for the occasion.
Eliza Byard, from campaign group GSLEN, which advocates for LGBTQ students, said a supportive school environment like the one Keegan experienced is crucial for the mental health and success of gay, bi, lesbian and transgender students.
She explained: ‘What’s at stake is nothing less than the future lives of these children and own health as a society,
‘We still live in a world where the most marginalized are not receiving the support and affirmation that they need in order to achieve academically and thrive personally. And we all will benefit when that is true.’
Jason Bucklin, who works for Minnesota Public Schools Out4Good Program that supports LGBTQ students, said acceptance also helps stop bullying and can nip hatred in the bud early on.
He explained: ‘It isn’t just about the transgender students.
‘It is about bringing everybody into the classroom and having the ability to feel successful.’
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