The author of a new children’s book about drag queen RuPaul Charles has said she hopes it will “break stereotypes” about young boys.
The RuPaul’s Drag Race star is the latest subject of the illustrated biography series Little People, Big Dreams, which also includes books about David Bowie, Frida Kahlo and Rosa Parks.
Spanish author Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara told the PA news agency: “The process started with me watching all the seasons from RuPaul’s Drag Race, which I hadn’t, and I’m a big fan now.
“I didn’t really know him that well because here in Spain he’s not that well known. But I think that is one of the good things is because I have a distance from many of the characters.
“I feel Little People, Big Dreams really breaks with stereotypes. We started breaking stereotypes for women but actually boys have kind of the same problem. They are supposed to play football, they are supposed to like fighting and all these things that not all of them like.
“That is what I found so amazing about this character is it makes me think of so many of my friends who are LGBTQ and many of my friends who went through a very similar story when they were kids. And this is so important to break all these stereotypes that are related to boys.”
She added: “We have to let (children) know naturally we are all different and that uniqueness is what makes us special and that is the cool part of all of us. That is what diversity is all about: being different and enjoying that and having fun with that and never being ashamed of who you are or how you feel.”
Katy Flint, commissioning editor for the series, added: “It’s hugely important what RuPaul represents to kids because you have a sense of fun and creativity and dress up and theatre. But there are also the themes of self-acceptance, self-expression and of also valuing diversity and self-love.
“I think that is something we are seeing a lot of in children’s books coming through at the minute and I think RuPaul is a perfect choice.”
She added: “A lot of time, people say ‘You can’t put that in a kids’ book’ and people are quite patronising towards children, not realising that a lot of damage can happen in childhood if kids don’t see themselves on the page and if kids feel left out.
“Even on RuPaul’s show you see the contestants and the hardship they have been through, being unable to come out to families or feeling closeted. So we need to start having those conversations earlier in an appropriate way.
“It’s not like you’re having an inappropriate conversation. This is when the conversations need to start.”
The book features illustrations by artist Wednesday Holmes, as well as extra facts, a biographical timeline and a detailed profile.
There are 50 books in the Little People, Big Dreams series, including a recent addition about Sir Elton John.
The Little People, Big Dreams book about RuPaul will be published on May 4 2021 and is available to pre-order now.