Darren Butler knew he was going to have a son and got excited dreaming of afternoons filled with football, boxing and sports together. However, when his little boy turned 8, he left the sports fields and told his father that he wanted to wear his mother’s clothes.
Trying everything in his power to convince his son to get past this “stage,” Darren was nervous about what his friends would think about his son’s alter ego. Now 11, Fabian Butler acts as one of the youngest drag queens in the country, as his alter ego Francheska Valley, and Darren happily takes him to concerts and even helps him choose his outfit.
“I was the opposite when I was younger. When you have your first boy, you have expectations. I used to box when as a kid, so I always hoped that he would grow up and want to pursue boxing,” Darren told the Daily Mail.
Darren would take him to play soccer but it was obvious that it wasn’t for his son. “When he started dressing up, I was in denial, I just thought it was kids being kids at an age like that. I just thought he was going through a phase, but when I spoke to my wife about it and realized it wasn’t a phase, I was hurt,” continued the father.
However, as soon as he saw how happy he was on stage, he could see how much it meant to him. “It brought a tear to my eye and I realized that he can’t live his life through my eyes. He has to live his dream, not my dreams. I am the proudest dad in the world,” he said.
Fabian started dressing like a woman when he was only five years old, after borrowing his mother’s makeup and jewelry. He would come home and tell his parents how much he admired the clothes his teachers wore and would take his mother’s clothes out of her closet to try them on.
His mother, Rachel, who works as a cook, told the British website, “It’s just normal to us, I’ve grown with him through this and we didn’t need to have a conversation about it as it was just normality. As he got older, I started buying him makeup, which caused a lot of disagreement between Darren and I, but Fabian’s face lights up when he wears makeup.”
When Fabian first performed in front of Darren in Newbridge with his drama club, he realized how talented his son was at performing. “He had his own act and performed Ariana Grande’s God is a Woman in front of 200 people on stage. He started drama club when he was nine years old and this was his first opportunity to perform. I was very nervous about going, but when I saw him perform, it brought a tear to my eye,” said the father.
Now, Darren fully supports his son and even takes him shopping for new drag outfits.