Drag queen, 15, paving the way for queer teens
- Credit: Michelle Savage
Pride! It means something different for all of us, but for many it is a word that means freedom, a word that allows us to stand up, be seen and be proud of who we are.
Inspirational young person, Korben White, 15, from Dickleburgh, is paving the way for young queer people across the community.
He has been advocating inclusivity, and hopes to increase visibility of LGBTQ+ youth.
Korben has appeared in many events and productions in and around Norwich.
He said: "Pride is loving yourself and accepting yourself. Learning to celebrate that to its fullest. It is important we take pride in what we do!"
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So where did it all begin for Korben?
He said: "I have been into musical theatre all my life. One day my mum asked if I would like to audition for a show, the show was Priscilla Queen of the Desert which is a story about drag queens, I got the role and it’s all taken off from there. I saw the drag queens for the first time and I learnt what drag is, I also learnt about the LGBTQ+ Community, I learnt about pride and acceptance.’"
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Most recently Korben wowed audiences at "Brickies Pride" on Saturday July 10, where he performed as drag queen Miss Frou Frou.
Kenny Moore, known throughout the community as Miss Special K who co-organised the event, said: ‘Korben shines a light for every young person struggling trying to find their way - as a teenager myself I had no representation within the media and even more so in our local community.
"So, by a 15-year-old standing on stage saying 'I am me, proud to be a queer teen' is pretty powerful - He made me feel so incredibly proud."
Michelle Savage, Norwich Pride trustee, added: "Korben and his family are an absolute inspiration.
"He is the perfect example of what happens when LGBTQ+ children are loved and respected by their families - they flourish and grow into amazing young people with so much to give to the community. He is a superstar. We are so very proud of him.”
Korben’s mother, Nina Green, is praised by many people within the local LGBTQ+ community for her commitment to supporting her children's paths.
She said: "Drag is just another way for Korben to express himself. He is showing other young people that you can be who you want to be and be proud of who you are, you don’t need to hide.
"This has extended to his younger brother Devon, aged 12, who has become an advocate at school and has no problem with challenging the behaviours and languages of his peers.’"
What’s next for Korben?
"I really want my acting career to take off. I love performing. Entertaining people is amazing, it makes others feel happy and I think that’s powerful. Although for now, it’s working hard in school.’"
Talking about young people who don’t share the same support as Korben, Mrs Green said: "To the parents of those young people my message would be, just listen, understand, do research and don’t become overwhelmed, by allowing your child to be who they are, you get nothing but the best out of them."
Korben talked about what he hopes the future looks like for young queer people.
"The world needs to be more understanding and I think with our generation with the education we are receiving we’re becoming smarter and wiser in the fact that there are different people in our communities, and that we need to learn to love and respect one another.
"Our generation will work towards enforcing education in schools to understand who we are, what diversity is, and what pride is, we can spread the message of love."
He added: "A message to young people or any people who are struggling is talk to someone.
"It may be hard at the moment but keep pushing through. There is a community out there that will accept you and will support you."