Look over here/Gay Babies
As a queer person who underwent a gendered coming out process/ritual at a particularly young age (10 years old) I have always been fascinated by the phenomena of youth who exhibit non-normative gender and sexual tendencies. There have been a number of thoughts passing through my head space pertaining to these phenomena. On one of my favorite shows, Rupaul’s Drag Race, one cast member speaks quite frequently about being expressively queer at a young age. Contestants around her immediately showed resentment to this, baiting her with themes like “tranny” and “real girl don’t do shows,” attempting to make her more drag-like rather than realness. Tatianna, as she is known on the show, came out to a fifth-grade class and from elementary school was as flamboyant as can be. Doing drag in middle and high school come up often to unfortunate glances from her fellow show members. I wondered if they too wished they had the courage and self-knowledge at that age to do what she had done, or if they were trying to enforce their masculinity in a television program dedicated to its betrayal. Her elimination interview sheds some light on her position, she even uses the term genderfuck.
In trolling YouTube myself, I found a number of young children performing non-normative gender to an incredibly comical effect. A blog post on The Daily Beast titled “Should Baby Boys be Singing Beyonce?” addresses one of such videos. Though the blog itself posits that this could be a sign of social progress, the title alone is based in an ingrained dichotomous gender paradigm. Many comments responded to and interpreted the child’s implied queerness. One response even states that singing Lady Gaga exploits the young boy to the point that “somewhere out there in cyberspace there is likely more than one sick bastard getting off on these things.” Another questions importantly “how in the hell is a baby dancing in his little diaper sexual?”