Father of UK's youngest drag queen, struggled to accept son's dreams

Father of Britain’s youngest drag queen, 11, admits it ‘hurt’ when his son didn’t fulfil his expectations but is now ‘blown away’ after seeing him perform in front of thousands of people

  • Fabian Butler, 11, from South Wales, started dressing in mother’s clothes at seven
  • Has become the UK’s youngest drag queen performing as Francheska Valley
  • Father Darren admits after being ‘raised in 80s and 90s’ he struggled with choice
  • But he was ‘touched’ after seeing that his son had ‘inspired’ others to come out

The father of Britain’s youngest drag queen admits he struggled to accept his son’s dreams, but soon came to be ‘blown away’ by how much of a ‘natural performer’ his son is. 

Fabian Butler, 11, from South Wales, started wearing his mother’s clothes and make-up at the age of seven, and has since become the country’s youngest drag star, performing under the name Francheska Valley to 7,000 at DragCon. 

Appearing on This Morning, dad Darren confessed that after ‘growing up in the ’80s and ’90s’, it ‘hurt him’ that his son didn’t fulfil his ‘expectations’ of what a boy should be interested in. 

But after seeing Francheska perform, Darren was ‘touched’ at how much she ‘inspired’ others – and viewers quickly praised the parents, hailing Fabian’s father ‘amazing’ and understanding’.  

Britain’s youngest drag queen  Fabian Butler, 11, from South Wales, appeared on This Morning today with mother Rachel and father Darren 

Fabian, pictured with Morgan McMichaels at DragCon, started wearing his mother Rachel’s clothes, jewellery and make-up at the age of seven

Fabian has since become the country’s youngest drag star, performing under the name Francheska Valley to 7,000 at DragCon

‘What it was, explained Darren, ‘I was born in the 70s, raised in the 80s and 90s, it was very much frowned upon. So when I first found out, I thought it was a phase. 

‘But it got long and longer and it hurt me, because as a father when you have a boy,  your expectations are to do boy stuff – but Fabian is a natural performer. I still have my moments where it’s hard to accept, but I fully support him now’. 

Fabian committed to drag after watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race, and was able to perform at DragCon in London earlier this year in front of 7,000 guests.  

Darren had already been impressed by his son’s talent, but was blown away even further after his wife Rachel got him a ticket to watch Fabian perform at the famous event. 

After seeing Francheska perform, Darren was ‘touched’ at how much she ‘inspired’ others, and he has since come to accept Fabian’s dreams 

‘To be honest’, said Darren, ‘I went to his drama class to see him perform in front of 200 people and that blew me away and so after that I accepted it a bit more.

‘My wife got me a ticket and when I saw him on stage with 7,000 people with all the drag queens that were there, he blew me away.

‘I had people coming up to me saying “I wish I had a father like you back then. There was some teenagers that said Fabian had inspired them and inspired them to come out, and that really touched me.’

Viewers quickly took to Twitter to praise Fabian and Darren, with one writing: ‘LOVE to see Fabian aka Francesca Valley’s dad being so understanding.’ 

Viewers quickly praised the parents, hailing Fabian’s father ‘amazing’ and understanding’ on Twitter

Another said: ‘She looks beautiful!!!! So lucky with these parents!!! Absolutely amazing!!!’ 

A third wrote: ‘Fully obsessed with this young drag queen and the very (rightly) accepting parents.’  

Fabian’s mother Rachel confessed that her son’s ambitions were never a shock to her, after noticing her make-up going missing from a ‘very young age’/ 

Speaking about how he got into drag, Fabian said: ‘About seven years ago I would put on my mum’s make up and mess around and play with her jewellery and rings. 

‘At seven I started trying to do make up properly and putting dresses on and doing stuff properly.’

Rachel went on: ‘To be honest with you it wasn’t a surprise, it happened from a very young age. I knew exactly where all my make up was going.’  

Fabian told he feels ‘sassy, amazing and completely different’ while performing as Francheska, and he was surprised with a video message from one of his drag idols Courtney Act

Courtney, who appeared out of drag as Shane, said: ‘Hi Francheska sending lots of love. ‘I want to say how inspired I am by you and how fearlessly you show you colours on the outside’ 

Fabian told he feels ‘sassy, amazing and completely different’ while performing as Francheska, and he was surprised with a video message from one of his drag idols Courtney Act. 

Courtney, who appeared out of drag as Shane, said: ‘Hi Francheska sending lots of love. 

‘I want to say how inspired I am by you and how fearlessly you show you colours on the outside.’ 

He added: ‘If only as many adults were as fearless of you I think the world would be a better place.’ 

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