Halloween is a night for boys to dress up as their heroes: firefighters, police officers, military personnel, baseball players and superheroes. My nine-year-old son C.J. is no different from most boys. He’ll dress up as his hero for Halloween. His hero is Bob The Drag Queen.
Bob The Drag Queen is the winner of the most recent season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Bob, RuPaul and all the queens are brave, strong heroes for my rainbow son. They’ve taught him to celebrate his uniqueness, cultivate his own style and let criticisms roll off his back. They’ve taught him the importance and power of loving himself. They’ve also taught him a few words and phrases that I’ve told him he can’t use until he’s 18.
C.J. has watched Bob The Drag Queen’s “Purse First” music video more times than I can count (his second favorite video to watch is Alaska’s “Your Makeup Is Terrible”). So, naturally, he wanted to emulate Bob’s “Purse First” video look for Halloween.
“Just so you know, we aren’t going to make your skin or face brown like Bob The Drag Queen’s,” I established right up front. Bob is black and C.J. is half Irish with skin the color of fat free milk and red hair. While I’m totally fine with my son going in drag, I’m completely opposed to him going in blackface. To some people, that makes me weird.
“Why would you think I’d do that?” C.J. asked in surprised disgust. Which made me proud of him and disappointed in myself for bringing it up. “I need her dress and purse and hair and makeup and everything.”
Now, let’s be clear. I’m not a seamstress, nor a makeup artist. I’ve never styled a wig, nor made a purse. I am a mom from the suburbs whose real talents are propagating succulents and whipping up dinner using random ingredients from the pantry because I’m too lazy to go to the store.
Knowing my limitations, C.J. told me to call his Uncle Michael for help.
“You can’t order this costume on online, mom! Call my FuGuncle (fun gay uncle)!”
I did as I was told because I knew it was the right thing to do.
Days later Uncle Michael arrived from West Hollywood with a wig, fake eyelashesm pearls and big ideas.
Thank RuPaul for gay brothers.
Uncle Michael helped C.J. shop for supplies and make a purse to match the dress they had me order from Amazon. Then, Uncle Michael set up a classroom in our dining room and taught us how to style the wig and do the makeup, because he won’t be in town to help on Halloween. I hope that when the big night finally gets here, my newly learned drag queen skills don’t fail me.
(The one item left on my Halloween to-do list is to buy a petticoat for my son – which is something I never thought I’d say.)
C.J. has since perfected his 2016 trick-or-treating technique. He will approach a house. Ring the doorbell and stand to the side. When a person opens the door, he will come into view purse first.
I don’t have the heart to tell him that people in our conservative Orange County neighborhood probably won’t get his shtick.
“What are you going to be for Halloween?” people and peers have been asking C.J. for weeks.
“I don’t know,” he always says nonchalantly.
“Why aren’t you telling people what you’re going to be for Halloween?” I asked him in private, worried that he wasn’t telling people because he was afraid of being teased.
“I’m not telling people that I’m going to be Bob The Drag Queen for Halloween because I don’t want them to steal my awesome idea,” he replied with the attitude needed to be the world’s best drag queen for a night.
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I’m a little late reading this post, like, a lot late…but hopefully it will find you all well! My son absolutely idolizes Ginger Minj and Bob the drag queen, and Violet and Kim Chi….the list goes on and on.It has sparked this drive and passion to become the greatest drag queen the world has ever seen. He actually aspires to take over for RuPaul when its time for her to hang up her stilettos, but as we all know, RuPaul is immortal ( and I haven’t had the heart to tell him that just yet) So for now, we let him dream big. Its always amazed me how self aware my son was and in reading your blog, how self aware yours is too. We’re fortunate enough to live in Canada, Montreal specifically and our city is well known for its drag culture and diversity and general openness… But up until now, I’ve walked the #dragmom path alone. Needless to say, there’s not a lot going on for Drag Queen minis and I’d like to change that. My son has recently started voguing classes to perfect his craft and will, hopefully, get to experience his first Kiki Ball this summer! From one dragmom to another, ultimately, we’re all in it together! I love knowing there are other parents out there just like me and other amazing boys just like mine!
You are inspirational as a mother! Thank you! #pursefirst
You are all of my #momgoals
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OMG you and your son are inspirational! love this story! I have a 5 year old boy totally into ballet, tap and jazz. he doesn’t care a jot that he is the only boy in the class. He hasn’t been brought up to believe in gender divides.
Lori, this is the BEST thing I have read in months! It made my heart swell, I cried happy tears, and I’m absolutely thrilled that this happened to your family, but, of course, more importantly, to C.J.!
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I cannot tell you how much I love this! CJ is amazing and…fabulous! I have of late begun to embrace who I am after years of trying to hide it or simply being ashamed. You be you.
I just want to thank you for being amazing parents!! I wish I had a loving mom like you growing up. It would have changed my whole life. It should never matter what clothes a person wants to wear!!!
I’m just catching up on some reading, but I also saw where Bob shared the article about CJ – how awesome! I tried it, you can’t help but feel fabulous when walking Purse First!
I am absolutely _not_ into drag, but that look is to die for. It doesn’t look like drag, it just looks beautiful. He looks _so_ pretty.
Can you get your brother to do that for me?
I love everything you write, but these might be the three greatest sentences ever written by anyone! “My nine-year-old son C.J. is no different from most boys. He’ll dress up as his hero for Halloween. His hero is Bob The Drag Queen.”
I absolutely love it and while I’m not sure if Bob reads you regularly, I bet he will now!!
YAS CJ! “Beat face” for the win! And Guncles are the BEST! My boy have 5 uncles, 2 who are Guncles, and I hope that the relationship that my boys have with them is as awesome as the one CJ has with his Uncle Michael. And “purse first” when they open the doors? IN NYC everyone would be GAGGING! Amazing!
Um….best mom ever! Purse first, CJ! 👛 Sending love from Orlando!!
But does CJ know that Bob The Drag Queen approved and shared this to facebook and twitter?
It’s a rare thing when you see a child absolutely in their element. CJ was born to be a drag queen. It sounds strange saying it, but he can rock a dress and wig better than anyone I’ve ever seen–man or woman.
Just something I noticed recently, as a follow up to my previous comment–CJ appears to take after you in terms of his overall look. I looked back at a previous post, the one when you were on the show with Chelsea. CJ’s make up and hair are obviously a bit overdone for effect, but he looks like a mini-you.
BEAUTIFUL, Mom, Son, And Fabulous Uncle for creating a great night, for CJ.
Couldn’t agree more!
I love Bob the Drag Queen too but I could never pull off her look as good as your son does! Purse first, kiddo, and have a great time on Halloween — I hope you get lots of candy!
Reblogged this on Fearsome Beard and commented:
Heartwarming story about a determined creative and his awesome mother.
CJ looks awesome! He will totally be the world’s best drag queen on October 31st! Rock it CJ!
You have my ultimate respect. CJ has all of my applause for a wonderful idea and the drive to pull it off. Cheers to you both!
Oooooh!! Beautiful and fierce!!!! I wish CJ could trick or treat my house so I could see the purse first!!!
You always make me smile with your awesome parenting. Thank you.
My son is throwing an old sheet over his head and calling himself a ghost. Much less creative than CJ 🙂
OMG…I LOVE you and C.J.. You Lori are a truly awesome mom…non-judgmental, loving, and supportive…and C.J. you are awesome because you know what you want and who you are and as importantly are not afraid to proclaim it…you both are an inspiration to so many…thank-you for sharing this journey with all of us…and BTW the costume is flawless and you will work it well…”FuGuncle” Bob did a wonderful job…I’m the “FuGuncle” with my nieces and nephews and it warms my heart to see others out there doing it too. 🙂
CJ looks better in a dress than I ever have. Literally! I hope he gets lots of candy!
May I say points for the shoes – stylish AND comfortable. Should be able to walk quite a while in those without the feet dying. And the makeup – not too OTT, which suits CJ very well!
C.J. looks awesome! As the mom of two biracial (black and white) children, I appreciate your stance on blackface, and am happy to hear C.J. gets it too.
Bravo. And hooray for FuGuncle.
To be fair Bob wasn’t the most amazing sewer in her season which is why she was so pleased with her outfit/purse
I swear to gawd, if a child came to my door Purse First, I’d never stop crying with delight. They would just win all the candy, and my heart! ❤
Fabulous! He’s gorgeous!!
I can’t tell you how much I love this! I wish everyone felt as self-confident as CJ!
I want to be that confident in a dress~~ Rock on CJ Rock on~~
Love it! For those of us who do understand, knock em dead CJ!
So fabulous! Utterly wow. I hope CJ will thoroughly enjoy Halloween! Purse first!
Love the attitude!
MEOWZA!! C.J., you are so FIERCE! (And so are your Uncle and Mom!) If you were trick-or-treating in my neighborhood, I’d have a special “purse” for you full of chocolates or whatever your fave candy is…plus a squiggly bat, a slimy worm and a ring with a spider on it! Have a super-fun time!