Videos on TikTok showing parents supporting their offspring performing in drag have warmed the hearts of many online.
Saturday night’s shooting at Colorado Springs, Colorado’s Club Q has put the LGBTQ community in mourning. And conservatives have decried drag brunches and drag queen story hours, and tried to keep them from happening. But drag shows are also places for LGBTQ joy and connection—and a number of TikTok videos show how important and ebullient they can be, particularly when the parents of drag queens turn out in support.
Stephan Horbelt, the executive editor of SPACES, a new group-chat app for the LGBTQ community, told Newsweek how important it is for people to band together against homophobia.
“Social media has always been a minefield for LGBTQ+ people, but now, in the wake of this despicable Colorado Springs incident, it’s worse than ever. Left and right we’re being told that ‘gays are groomers,’ that trans kids don’t deserve appropriate health care and that drag, an art form that dates back centuries, is some insidious form of child exploitation,” Horbelt said.
“Which means it’s now more important than ever that LGBTQ+ people—of all ages—are reminded we are valid, worthy, integral members of society. We aren’t going anywhere, and we certainly aren’t going to let the backwards ideologies of the far-right ruin the progress our community has made over the years,” he continued. “We are a resilient community, and no one can take away our joy!”
One delightful video shared by TikTokker @deecpena shows one queen, “Shimmer,” performing with his proud dad taking photos at a September performance at San Diego’s Urban MO’s Bar & Grill.
In the video, which has been seen over 540,000 times and liked 116,000 times, Shimmer performs to the Lil Nas X hit “Old Town Road,” while his father stands on stage behind him holding his cell phone camera recording the performance and the crowd. An on-screen caption reads “His [dad] came to support him at his first drag show.. all the gays were crying. The dad got tips too!”
“Requirement level unlocked for all future dads. Thank you sir!!” @vinnyforthewinny wrote.
“omg Dad’s smile! all children deserve this much support” @2022suckstoo added.
“I recently went to a drag brunch in my city and he sang a song to his mom who was there and we were all [bawling] the support is beautiful!” @kellyreckner wrote.
Newsweek reached out to Urban MO’s for comment.
Another clip, shared by transgender drag queen Strawberry Corncakes, which was viewed 73,500 times, was captioned “I came out as trans last year to my parents”—and in the video itself, the on-screen caption reads “My Dad uses my new pronouns for the first time! ‘I Love Her'”.
“Strawberry, this is my youngest—we have four… and our youngest is here. I am so proud of what she has achieved,” her dad says. “In the beginning, I wasn’t too cool with the situation—but I love life. I love people. I love her.”
Many in the comments shared their love of this moment, including how the heartwarming scene had made them tear up.
“All I do on this damn app is cry! Thank you for sharing with us,” @elizadeath669 wrote.
“This app owes me A LOT of money for messing up my lashes. I just be crying over complete strangers,” @phoenixrae15 wrote.
And TikTokers weren’t the only ones in tears. When @ncboii704 asked Strawberry Corncakes how she kept it together on stage, she revealed she didn’t.
“I cried my make up off lol,” she wrote.