My Journey Becoming an 11-Year-Old Drag Queen

After capturing the drag kids of NYC for our volume 5 cover story, we met one a little closer to home. Born in the small town of Corby in Northamptonshire, we invited Leo to our studio in London to dress up and pen a personal essay on becoming Violet Vixen.

Words by Violet Vixen
Photography by Mia Clark

My Mum told me that right from the beginning, I was a big character. I love being silly, singing, dancing and dressing up. I wear her makeup, her jewellery and high heels; when it’s all on, I’m at the height of happiness.

I was 7 when I first discovered YouTube and makeup tutorials. I would watch artists like Jeffree Star and Miss Fame and try to copy their techniques. Along with dressing in “girls clothes” and wearing makeup and heels, but I also loved cars. True story; when I was about 2 or 3 I could name most makes and models of cars, it was like a party trick that my family loved. I knew the Vauxhall Astra from the Vectra, the Volkswagon Polo from the Golf. It was pretty impressive. 

Anyway, I also quite like watching Top Gear and loved the drag races they would do. So one day I went on Netflix and searched ‘Drag Racing.’ There I laid my eyes on Ru Paul for the first time. This beautiful woman in a red jumpsuit waving the chequered flag. I started with season 6. I pressed play and ran to the toilet and to get a quick drink. When I got back, they were in The Werk Room and in walked Courtney Act “This is America’s Next Top Model”. My jaw hit the floor, and I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. 

Not only have I made me, Leo, a more confident and outgoing person, but I also created Violet Vixen, who’s super sassy and sure of themselves.

For weeks, I watched the show in secret and became more and more obsessed. And with the obsession, it became evident that this was my calling. I began performing around the house, my dance moves were so good that my parents sent me to dance classes — or maybe that was their way of saying I was terrible? Haha! My makeup was getting more expressive, bolder and better. I was transforming and when in drag I would refer to myself as Violet.

I told my Mum that I needed to get out there and be noticed, so I persuaded her to start an Instagram account for, this was when we added Vixen to the Violet and bam; we had a drag name.

Drag has magnified my life, there’s so much happiness, colour and excitement in my life because of it. I also get to say that am part of the queer community and is the most incredible, inclusive, caring community. I’m so happy with the person I am. In the words of one of my most influential people in drag; “When you become the image of your own imagination, it’s the most powerful thing you could ever do.”― RuPaul 

Drag is a toolbox. In that box is the tools to build yourself into the best you; that’s what I feel I have done. Not only have I made me, Leo, a more confident and outgoing person, but I also created Violet Vixen, who’s super sassy and sure of themselves.

This article was originally published in BRICKS, No.5, ‘The Future Issue’

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