The Columbus queen is focused on creating family-friendly drag.
Nina West may not have won RuPaul’s Drag Race, but she’s sure to win the hearts of kids everywhere with her new children’s album Drag is Magic. The album was released last Friday, along with the five-song comedy EP John Goodman.
Huffington Post premiered the music video for the title track yesterday. The video starts with West in a Mrs. Doubtfire-inspired look reading a story to four children. When the kids ask to watch their favorite video, West turns on the TV to reveal a second West, this time in a bright pink dress, with colorful animations as her backdrop. Together, the two Wests encourage kids to be whatever they want to be, all set to catchy, simple music.
West (the drag persona of Andrew Levitt), who came in sixth on the current season of Drag Race, is “focused on doing content material that is really family-friendly specific, for queer parents and their children or for queer children and their parents.” West has raised more than $2 million dollars for LGBTQ organizations through the Nina West Foundation.
“We live in a world where people are forcing the idea of label and identity on others, rather than just letting children or parents or families figure it out on their own, so I want to help lead that charge and be the Mrs. Doubtfire or Barney—be a big, wonderful, fun, positive influence on a lot of different lives," West says.
West, who began doing drag in 2001, says her shift toward family-oriented shows started with her drag brunches in Columbus, where she began hosting drag queen storytimes. It was a perfect transition for West, who cites The Muppets, Disney and Pee-wee's Playhouse as influences.
“You get such an honest response. It’s not forced or fake at all by children. They’re very very honest, and there’s something really amazing about that—being told what they like and what they don’t like,” West says. “Kids accept everybody. There’s no judgement there.”
Families can catch West when she’s back in town June 15 to serve as Columbus’ 2019 Pride Parade Grand Marshal. The parade steps off from Poplar & High Streets at 10:30 a.m.
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