Proud mum Lauren Noakes took her 11-year-old son on Loose Women to explain why she supports his choice to dress as a drag queen despite criticism from others.
The Loose Women panel were amazed by Lauren and her son Leo’s enthusiasm and determination to challenge people’s judgement.
Lauren explained that her son’s interest in drag queens had been evident from a very young age.
She said: ‘It’s always been there, he’s always been flamboyant and a big character and wanting to dress in high heels and dresses and things.
‘I thought it was a normal phase. It was only when he was about 6 people started to say he should have started to grow out of that by now. I brushed it off at first.’
Lauren had Leo when she was 17 and sometimes felt like she was under added pressure as a young mum. She also started to blame herself and wondered if Leo’s behaviour was learned rather than a genuine interest or hobby.
Opening up to the panel Lauren said: ‘I thought as well that I had a bit of pressure on me to perform because I was so young. He didn’t have a father figure for the first three years. I worried whether it was that; he was always with me, watching me all the time.
‘So I thought that maybe that was where he was getting it from – actually instead of it being what he liked, it was learnt behaviour.’
Although Lauren has faced a lot of criticism for allowing her son to continue to dress like a drag queen she stresses that as long as he is happy, she is going to ignore people’s ignorance.
Leo has no interest in changing his gender according to his mum, he just wants to prove it’s okay to be different.
Lauren stressed: ‘From my ignorance I assumed that that’s what he wanted. It’s not at all. But, actually, he’s really open anyway, he really clearly just says, “I’m a boy, I like being a boy, just because I’ve got a penis doesn’t mean I can’t wear a dress”. He just wants to show everyone it’s OK to be different. That’s what he taught me.’
The Loose Women audience and viewers at home have been overwhelmingly supportive of Leo and Lauren.
One person tweeted: ‘What a fantastic mother this child has. Quite heartwarming that she had just gone with her love rather than taking note of outside influences.’
Another wrote: ‘What a lovely family they are. Let everyone be and do what they want. There are worst things happening in the world.’
A third added: ‘🌟What a little star🌟! And well done mum for letting your boy be who he wants to be! 💙💗 big love to you both.x’.