9-year-old Montreal drag queen Lactatia (real name Nemis Quinn Melancon) became well known in the drag community after she stole the show during a Bianca Del Rio comedy set, telling viewers, "If you wanna be a drag queen and your parents don’t let you, you need new parents. If you wanna be a drag queen and your friends don’t you, you need new friends."
Soon after, the little queen was featured in a video by Elle Magazine, which shows her meeting New York City drag icon Vivacious. In the enormously popular video, the 9-year-old explains that Lactatia is "the diva-est diva you could ever think of".
After her viral fame, Lactatia has received wide praise from LGBTQI+ and drag online communities, and has collaborated on a number of different projects. This includes a photoshoot for LGBTQI+ fashion label House of Mann, where Lactatia was photographed in a sequinned jumpsuit that the brand made especially for her.
House of Mann is a popular LGBTQI+ label that specialises in drag outfits and costumery, as well as burlesque pieces and underwear.
Ever since the release of the photo of Lactatia wearing the onesie, the young queen and his mother Jessica have been on the receiving end of heavy abuse and threats. House of Mann's owner Brandon Hilton has also received death threats and even accusations of being a paedophile:
The post itself on Hilton's page has been inundated with negative comments about Lactatia's age, and drag culture. [NOTE: These comments contain rhetoric that some in the LGBTQI+ community may find distressing.]
Jessica Melancon told Pink News that the threats and abuse being sent to her and her child, as well as Hilton, was deeply disturbing.
"These people, the ones who hate on it so fiercely, do not understand drag, drag couture, drag performance. There’s no point in even trying to explain it to them either, because they can’t, won’t and don’t want to understand it," she said.
“House of Mann designs brilliant drag and burlesque pieces. No, Lactatia will NOT be modelling their burlesque pieces, and the fact that we need to clarify that is absolutely absurd.
“House of Mann gifted Lactatia with a beautiful, head to toe, sequinned one piece tailored to size! It is a Lactatia favourite and she looks forward to incorporating it into a performance!”
Hilton also gave his statement to Pink News: "We are shocked and saddened that people misunderstood what we stand for and are about," he explained. "We are a menswear and drag queen clothing company and Lactatia is a new face with a bright future ahead of her; it makes sense that we would dress her!
“We would never say no to an artist simply because of their age – now THAT would make us monsters!”