Ranging in age from 9 to 11, Stephan, Jason, Bracken and Nemis seem like any typical kids their age- except that they enjoy dressing in drag and lip-synching and dancing in public. Or, should I say, they seem like typical kids to me; someone who has been fortunate enough to grow up in an environment where I’ve managed to be exposed to people of all walks of life. Unfortunately, to the kids at school and even some adults in their communities, they can just seem weird.
It can’t be easy being the only kid in class who performs in drag shows. Even if they’re lucky enough to be accepted by their peers, it’s a lot less lonely to have a friend who truly understands the art of drag. Which is why Nemis’ mom extended an invitation to Stephan, Jason, and Bracken (spread out over the US and Spain) to come to Montreal and join Nemes at Montreal’s Pride celebration. The four go from strangers to friends almost instantly; but once these big personalities start sharing the stress of preparing for a group performance, these friendships are tested.
Attire aside, I never know how to feel when I watch documentaries about kids who perform or compete at this level in anything. But it’s hard not to watch this film without feeling that these parents want nothing but the best for their kids. It’s beautiful to watch the way these parents support them and encourage them to live out their dreams while enduring every temper tantrum.
Diva behaviour aside, these kids are a joy to watch. They’re talented, funny, and- there’s no other way to say it- brave. I was unsure how I felt about the public performances at first but Drag Kids makes a very convincing case that we must live our passions or we’re not truly living. And that if you can discover your passion while you’re still in Elementary School, all the better.
Sunday, Apr 28 6:15 PM TIFF Bell Lightbox 1
Tuesday, Apr 30 1:15 PM TIFF Bell Lightbox 3
Friday, May 3 3:45 PM TIFF Bell Lightbox 1