- Fabian Butler, 11, loves transforming into his drag alter ego Francheska Valley
- Performer from Gwent, South Wales, has become the UK’s youngest drag queen
- His father Darren, a machine operator, says he is ‘the proudest dad in the world’
When Fabian Butler was born, his loving dad Darren held him and dreamed of the man he would grow up to be – how he would play football with him and teach him how to box, just like he’d loved as a child.
But by age eight, the youngster from Gwent, South Wales, had ditched the sports fields and told his horrified father that he wanted to dress up in his mum’s clothes.
Trying everything in his power to talk his son out of his latest ‘phase’, Darren felt uncomfortable about what his friends would think about his son’s alter ego.
Now aged 11, Fabian performs as one of the country’s youngest drag queens, as alter ego Francheska Valley – and Darren happily takes him to gigs and even helps him choose his outfits.
Darren, a machine operator, said: ‘I was the opposite when I was younger. When you have your first boy, you have expectations.
‘I used to box as a kid so I always hoped that he would grow up and want to pursue boxing.
‘I would take him to play football with me and you could see that it wasn’t for him.
‘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 realised that it wasn’t a phase, I was hurt.
‘She persuaded me to go to his first performance, I really didn’t want to go.
‘But as soon as I saw how happy he was on stage, I could see how much it meant to him.
‘It brought a tear to my eye and I realised 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.’
Fabian started dressing up when he was just five-years-old, after borrowing mum Rachel’s make up and jewellery.