Leo Noakes wants us all to know it's okay to be whoever you are, no matter how "outlandish" others might think it is. The 11-year-old drag queen has done his fair share of standing up to bullying and people trying to tell him who and what he should be. He and his mother, Lauren, shared their story on UK talk show Loose Women.
Here is how Leo might look on a typical day, like at school.
Leo's family strongly believe in letting children express themselves in whatever way they want, so it came as no shock when Leo decided he wanted to give drag a try. He had been dressing in his older sister's clothing since he was big enough to get them for himself. He spent so much time invested in girls clothing, makeup, and mannerisms that mom assumed that at some point he would tell her that he was trans.
But that didn't happen. Quite the opposite happened, in fact. Mom shared with the panelists:
From my ignorance I assumed that's what he wanted. It's not that at all. But actually, he's really open anyway. He really clearly just says, 'I'm a boy, I like being a boy, just because I've got a penis doesn't mean I can't wear a dress.' He just wants to show everybody it's OK to be different.
Leo is quite happy and confident in himself now that he has fully embraced his drag persona, Violet Vixen. Leo told the panelists that Violet lets him be himself, and that makes him feel more confident. After a few moments with the panel, they shared a message from Leo's idol, Drag superstar Courtney Act - or, out of drag, Shane. Courtney is known for glamour, talent, and stunning showmanship.
It's easy to see why Leo looks up to him - wings!?! Love it.
The message was the most heartwarming, kindest, thing - leaving Leo adorably stunned and grinning ear to ear. The parting thought really got people thinking.
You're inspiring a conversation about how silly it is to apply a gender to a piece of clothing.Why do boys have to wear boys clothes and girls have to wear girls clothes? Why can't we just wear the clothes that we feel like wearing? Makes sense to me. Makes sense to you, too.
Twitter loves Leo!
@loosewomen I say “let’s be more Leo” xxx— Claire Wilkes (@Claire Wilkes) 1533739583.0
@loosewomen Fantastic! And to those objecting, he's dressing up, that's it, doing something he loves so let him be!… https://t.co/vaJxHsacVw— Gavin Sims 🏴 🏳️🌈🍷🇪🇺 🇬🇧 (@Gavin Sims 🏴 🏳️🌈🍷🇪🇺 🇬🇧) 1533743404.0
@loosewomen What a fantastic mother this child has . Quite heartwarming that she had just gone with her love rather… https://t.co/cd1KPLBsei— maria r (@maria r) 1533735370.0
@loosewomen What a lovely family they are. Let everyone be and do what they want. There are worst things happening in the world.— Hayles (@Hayles) 1533753462.0
@loosewomen I was constantly wearing boys clothes when i was a kid, wouldnt be caught dead in a dress until I was 1… https://t.co/bIy9urz62s— Beth 🌻 (@Beth 🌻) 1533739392.0
You can watch the interview here:
We wish we could all be as confident and self-assured as Leo. Thanks for the inspiration, kiddo!