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Mother accused of child abuse for letting non-binary 8-year-old express themself through drag hits back at transphobic trolls

Lily Wakefield May 6, 2020
non-binary child drag

Mill Blackburn was just two years old when they first watched RuPaul's Drag Race. (saltqweenofficial/ Instagram)

The mother of a non-binary 8-year-old has revealed that she was accused of child abuse after allowing her offspring to experiment with drag.

Mill Blackburn was just 2 years old when they first watched RuPaul’s Drag Race and they were instantly hooked.

A few years later, in August 2019, they made their own drag debut with other kids at the Dragutante festival in Denver, Colorado, unveiling their alter-ego Salt Qween and lip syncing to Lizzo.

Mill was such a hit that they were soon asked to perform regularly, and they’ve been loving every minute of it.

Mill’s mum, Manige Blackburn, is a charity outreach worker, and said in a video for PA: “We’ve found a wonderful, supportive community for our kid, and are just so grateful that we have this outlet to deal with everything that comes with growing up.”

non-binary child drag
(saltqweenofficial/ Instagram)

While Manige has fully supported her child’s self-expression, she said that others believe it is wrong, with some going as far as to accuse her of child abuse.

She told The Sun: “I get a lot of people saying that letting my 8-year-old perform in drag is disgusting — there’s a lot of Biblical quotes being thrown around too.

“I’ve been told I am exploiting my child at the expense of letting them have a ‘normal childhood’.

“But I don’t see how anyone could make an 8-year-old put on a big dress, a wig and have them lap up all that attention against their own will.

To me, drag is like protective armour. It protects children as they explore their gender.

“I honestly classify it as mental health care for Mill. The big purple wigs, the make-up and the new name — it’s all so cathartic.”

Last year, the mother of a non-binary child in the UK who loves dressing up in drag has revealed the threats she received from other parents for allowing the 11-year-old to be themself.

Jemma Lovell, from Shrewsbury, said her child Oz had been accepted by their family with open arms, but that other parents have said they believe that drag is sexual, and have even threatened to call social services on the family.

More: Colorado, denver, drag, Mill Blackburn, non-binary child, salt qween

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