"Athletic kids can perfect their talents in youth sports programs; those with a knack for music might pursue instrument or dance lessons. For the kids who do drag? Dragutante is one answer, acting as a safe haven for LGBTQ youth to explore the art of drag. As the showcase continues to grow, Generation Drag is making its premiere on June 1. The Discovery+ docuseries features five kids, and their families, as they prepare to show off their drag magic at the annual Denver event. "
" Local drag teen Ophelia Peaches is one of the five teens Generation Drag will follow and took to Instagram to share the news with her followers. The photo and caption shared information about the new show from Deadline’s coverage, though Ophelia was ever-present in the comments, replying to supporters showing their support. "
As a genderfluid person, Johnson, 17, recognizes the importance of using his voice for those in need for the upcoming school year.
Johnson, who goes by he, she or they, will be president of the Queer Student Alliance at his Denver high. For him, senior year of high school will be about advocating for LGBTQ students around the country who face new restrictions on their rights. He said he plans to create a safe space for the LGBTQ students on his campus in part because of a lack of counselors at the school.
“I had someone in high school who was very religious and they reached out to me,” said Johnson. “And they’re like, ‘Hey, I watched some of [Generation Drag] just because you were in it and I think it’s something that I might enjoy doing. I think it’s something that’s really amazing.’ I was like, ‘Oh, my God, you’re in my AP Lang class and you’re always talking about how much you love God, and then you come here and you say we share a similar purpose.’ It was really humbling to know that there are people out there who, from this show, can learn about themselves and learn about their communities.”
“This is the first generation that was truly raised on ‘Drag Race,’” said Robin Johnson, a photographer, who founded Dragutante, an 18-and-under runway show in Denver. When her son, a 14-year-old who in drag is known as Ophelia Peaches, was in elementary school, they would watch “RuPaul’s Drag Race” together, for “the gowns, the pageantry, the acting, the drama.” It was “like Disney princesses,” she said.
Ms. Johnson estimated that there are more than a hundred kids doing drag around the United States, based on outreach to Dragutante and to Ophelia. Some have public social media platforms and are on their way to careers.
“I’m not old enough to vote in this election, but that doesn’t mean that its outcome doesn’t affect me directly. In the last 4 years, civil rights have been quietly overturned by this administration. I am fortunate enough to live in a state with progressive non-discrimination laws. But I’m also using my voice to speak for those who aren’t.
Congress has not been able to pass the Equality Act which prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ+ people for federal funding, it’s shocking to know that this was first proposed in 1974 and Congress has still not been able to pass it. Why aren’t all people equal? My generation has the most diversity in race and gender ever. We are
watching. We are connected like no generation before us. Matthew Shepard was not only killed by bigotry, he was also killed by ignorance and fear. ‘Voting for Matt’ protects kids like me. Isn’t it about time?”
"Tyra Banks is producing a new Discovery+ show about teen queens—drag queens, that is. Titled Generation Drag, the series will explore the colorful, creative world of teenage drag shows.
Generation Drag focuses on five kids—Noah, Jameson, Vinny, Bailey, and Nabela—and their families. It traces the leadup to the most important performance of these teens’ young lives at Dragutante, a nonprofit event that allows LGBTQ+ youth to connect with each other, meet mentors in the drag community, and, at the end of the day, stomp the runway in their own performances."
Over 350 drag performances are working in Colorado today, entertaining with everything from classic female impersonation to male drag, fantastical cosplay, campy clownery and even kids’ drag. Because of hard-fought battles by queer elders such as James, Colorado’s up-and-coming drag performers, including sixteen-year-old “drag teen” Ophelia Peaches, have a fresh perspective on what drag can be. “Drag is a wholesome thing,” says Peaches. “Drag isn’t really taboo. It’s not just in a bar or a basement, and it’s something that’s glamorous and beautiful and loved by all different races, genders and sexualities.”
DENVER — For 16-year-old Jameson Lee, the thrill of dressing up in drag is hard to describe.
“The feeling when I put on my wig is...there are no words for it,” says Lee, who performs under the name Ophelia Peaches. “It’s delightful, it’s humbling, it’s exhilarating. It’s everything, because when I put on my wig, I am Ophelia.”
Ophelia started performing in drag at 13 years old, but the persona was years in the making, dating back to dress-ups and tea parties with her sister about 10 years ago.
Ophelia recalls putting on a tiara during those dress-ups: “I’d run down the hallway like, ‘I’m the queen, I’m the queen!’" Now, she really is the queen.
“I’m stronger in drag,” Ophelia explains. “I’m not worried about people judging me because I have these gorgeous lashes to deflect their blows.”
Nancy WNYC Ophelia Peaches
But for as much as he loved dressing up, not everyone in their small Colorado town approved.
TOBIN: For you, what has been the pushback or the stuff that you've had to deal with as you found yourself in drag?
OPHELIA: [SIGHING] I dunno.
ROBIN: I know you're not wanting to talk about it — um, she’s had some pushback when she was little. And that was — it was family. She doesn't like to — to talk about it. And I don't blame her.
OPHELIA: It was just a lot of, just, kind of, put downs, just to stop me from being different.
It was a lot of, “You’re being a pussy. You're being raised to be gay. Grow a set.” It was, “You’re worthless.”