The Big Happiness Interview: How to reject toxic masculinity and be a happier dad
I’ve always been fascinated with heels, jewellery and makeup.
I was probably around four years old when I first started taking things from my mum’s makeup bag and trying them out on myself.
Importantly, she never discouraged me and always told me I looked gorgeous. I think this helped build my confidence.
Then, at around the age of seven, I started attempting proper techniques and trying to create actual looks.
When I was eight, I came up with my drag character, Francheska Valley. I liked that the first name began with an ‘F’, like Fabian , and we live in the Valleys, in Wales – so it just worked.
Francheska is a sassy queen who doesn’t care what anyone thinks. She is a fashion icon, and the best looking person in the room. Her style is big gowns, big jewellery, long wigs, and always legs out – because Francheska has the best legs in town.
I’m now 12 and, for the last four years, I’ve loved having her as my alter ego. Starting drag and creating this character just felt right and was something I really wanted to do, after being fascinated by seeing queens like Courtney Act and Yvie Oddly on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Francheska is a sassy queen who doesn’t care what anyone thinks (Picture: Fabian Bulter)
Her style is big gowns, big jewellery, long wigs, and always legs out – because Francheska has the best legs in town (Picture: Fabian Butler)
I’m a performing queen as this is where my skills lie. There are different kinds of queens, for example some specialise in comedy – but I love to dance and lip sync. Two of my favourite songs to lip sync to are Upside Down by Diana Ross and Rules by Doja Cat.
I can almost do the splits and I’ve mastered the ‘death drop’ – the iconic dance where you’ve got to jump up and fall on the ground, with one leg extended straight out and the other bent back at the knee. I practised jumping off my settee at home and it took me about four days to get right – just one of the benefits of starting so young!
Some people think that this is just a ‘phase’ I’m going through and make comments because of my age, but it’s more than that. It’s completely natural to me. I’ve always been a performer; I come home from school singing and dancing, it’s just who I am.
My mum has had some nasty comments on social media, with people calling her a child abuser because she allows her son to wear makeup. But she’s proud of me – and that means so much. It helps me to express myself and be who I truly am inside.
My mum has always supported me to be whoever I want to be (Picture: Fabian Bulter)
Over the years, I have had a couple of people come up to me in school and make …read more
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