Exhibitionists·ART KIDS

This 9-year-old drag queen shows us how to slay

Nemis Melancon tells us what it takes to transform from a skateboarding kid into a glamorous vogueing drag princess named Lactatia.

Nemis Melancon on transforming into a glamorous vogueing drag princess named Lactatia

(CBC Arts)

Being a 9-year-old drag princess is fantastically glamourous. Montreal's Nemis Melancon has learned that during his two years of costuming, dancing and lip synching. And it takes a team to create that kind of artistry — Melancon's mother is the wizard behind the curtain, wielding makeup and outfits that transform her son into the competitive, vogueing Lactatia.

Melancon is in his element in both worlds — as the kid who goes to school, skateboards and runs around his house, and as Lactatia, the drag princess who "serves" her outfits on the runway, charms the crowd and just generally slays. It takes strength to be both kids, as Melancon notes that "in some places, I'm not very accepted."

Watch the video:

9-year-old drag queen Lactatia

4 years ago
Nemis Melancon shows us a little bit of what it takes to transform from a skateboarding kid into a glamorous vogueing drag princess named Lactatia. 3:46

It takes bravery to create a new persona, and this 9-year-old and his parents have often faced the most negative of comments online. Still, Melancon takes it in stride. His aspirations for the future include being a teacher (dressed in drag) and he says, "If people don't like it, they're just going to have to deal with it."

In this video, part of the Art Kids series, Melancon aka Lactatia shows us how Lactatia became a self-assured performer and takes us into the life of a kid drag queen. It's all part of our series Art Kids, where we've introduced you to a painter, a poet, a sculptor, even an award-winning wildlife photographer — and there are more on the way.

Lactatia. (CBC Arts)

Art Kids is a CBC Arts series that travels the country to find the next generation of groundbreaking creators in arts from painting, to dance, to poetry. Their accomplishments will amaze you — and might make you feel a little bad about yourself. But that's okay.

Watch CBC Arts: Exhibitionists on Friday nights at 11:30pm (12am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT) on CBC Television.


Priscilla Galvez is a Toronto-based Producer and Director. Most recently, she produced the BravoFACT short film The Emissary and is currently in post-production on a sci-fi action short The Drop In for Bell Media. Priscilla is in development on the web-series Off Kilter with director Alejandro Alvarez Cadilla as well as directing and co-writing the short film Wolf Alice, based on the short story by Angela Carter. Jeff Pavlopoulos is a Toronto-based writer, director and cinematographer striving to encounter the unfamiliar in the everyday. He is currently developing a short series, Secret Chiefs, about the invisible ties that bind us to one another, and the hidden, sometimes dangerous world that exists all around us.