Ex-boxer father of drag queen 11-year-old says he’s ‘proudest dad in the world’

A dad who hoped his son would be a boxer like him says he's the "proudest dad in the world" of his 11-year-old drag queen son.

Darren Butler revealed he thought son Fabian was just going through "a phase" but said seeing him on stage pursuing his dream "brought a tear" to his eye.

The ex-fighter, from Gwent, South Wales, said he was "in denial initially" but eventually realised his son had to "live his dream, not my dreams".

As his alter ego Francheska Valley is now driven to gigs by his doting father, according to the Dailly Mail.

But by age eight, the youngster from Gwent, South Wales, had ditched the sports fields and told his horrified father he wanted to dress up in his mum's clothes.

Darren felt uncomfortable about what his friends would think about his son's alter ego, thinking it just "a phase".

The 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.

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"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."

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Fabian started dressing up when he was just five-years-old, after borrowing mum Rachel's makeup and jewellery.

He'd tell his parents how he admired the clothes his teachers were wearing, and sneak Rachel's clothes from her wardrobe to try on.

Mum Rachel, who works as a cook, added: "It's just normal to us – I've grown with him through this and we didn't need to have a conversation about it as it was just normality.

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"As he got older, I started buying him makeup which caused loads of disagreements between Darren and I but Fabian's face lights up when he wears makeup."

Darren tried to get him into sports by enrolling him into a football club.

He said: "Fabian started a football club when he was six but you could see he wasn't happy; he much preferred his drama club and gymnastics group.

"When I tried to get him into boxing, he would say 'I'm not getting my lip split'. He's not got a bad bone in his body."

However, he struggled to accept Fabian wearing makeup and dressing up, which caused family bust-ups.

Mrs Butler said: "When he was seven, he started wearing makeup more often and Darren would tell him to take it off which would leave Fabian very upset.

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"It caused arguments because I would say – look how good he looks. It took a while for Darren to come round to the idea of him wearing makeup.

"Fabian would tell Darren that he was just doing his makeup to show him and he was so upset when Darren would tell him to take it off.

"Sometimes he would go and take it off but there were a lot of tears – it was frustrating for me because I could see how talented Fabian was at doing his makeup."

But when Fabian performed in front of Darren for the first time in Newbridge with his drama club, it made him realise how talented his son was at performing.

Mr Butler revealed: "He had his own act and performed Ariana Grande's God is a Woman in front of 200 people on stage. He started drama club when he was nine and this was his first opportunity to perform.

"I was really nervous about going but when I saw him performing, it brought a tear to my eye."

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