by Stephen Scaer
NASHUA – “There’s no limit. Anyone can be a drag queen,” Robert Champion, in his persona of Monique Toosoon, told an overflow audience of 130, including toddlers and teenagers, who packed the city library this evening to hear his Drag Queen Teen Time presentation Saturday.
“It’s been very entertaining for me,” he said in response to a child’s question. “It’s been very fun. It gets me attention, and I love attention.”
The event was repeatedly interrupted by women in the audience shouting, “you’re gorgeous,” and bursts of applause as he described his struggles with his sexual identity.
He recounted how he became prom king after he “came out of the closet,” and emphasized the importance of having a supportive group and a mentor. Monique said he became a drag queen in his late teens after winning a contest.
A girl who described herself as a 13-year old “bio queen” asked if she could become a drag queen, and expressed concern that “one of her parents was against it.” Monique responded that her request was “inspirational,” and invited her to “come join the show.” At another point in the program, he suggested that children whose parents weren’t accepting of his lifestyle would “need to find new parents.”
He encouraged the families to come to his family drag shows, as he performed at the Nashua Pride Parade and Festival, which he described as “family friendly.” He invited the audience to visit his Facebook Page and his website, Moniquetoosoon.com for upcoming dates.
Monique said being a drag queen is about fun. “If you’re struggling you need a drag queen,” he said. “Drag queens are just big clowns.”
Many of the questions from the audience related to how to enter the profession and deal with the anxiety of having to perform in front of others. A boy of a about 10 asked if he took inspiration from other drag queens, and Monique responded that he was “truly inspired.” A girl of about eight asked about the costs related to being a drag queen. Monique said he tried to keep costs down by shopping at drug stores, but the wigs were expensive, and “my body was $300.”
Monique said that he and his husband were in the process of adopting a three-year-old boy. He said he was not going to expose his son to his performances because he did not want to “confuse him.”
When a woman in the audience pointed out there were children of the same age at the presentation, he responded that this was their parents’ decision.
Toward the end of the program, the Nashua Police escorted a former state representative out of the theatre for having displayed a photo of Monique baring three prosthetic breasts.
Families lined up out the door to take pictures of their children with Monique after his presentation.
The meeting began with a brief poetry reading. Teen Librarian Ashlee Norwood, who organized the event, recommended teens read “The Pride Guide: A Guide to Sexual and Social Health for LGBTQ Youth.”