Controversy has erupted after a pub in Eugene, Ore. announced it is hosting a drag queen event featuring an 11-year-old child. An investigation by The Post Millennial has revealed that one of the child's “drag moms” was recently charged with child sex abuse offenses.
“Are you excited for drag queen story time brunch this Sunday morning?” Old Nick's Pub asked in a Facebook announcement. “Vanellope is here to show you what a 11 year old drag queen can do.” The post featured several photos of “Vanellope Craving MacPherson DuPont,” the stage name of the child, including one where she is touching her chest and her mouth is open. The Post Millennial is not publishing the real name of the child.
Old Nick's Pub is known locally in the university town for being a leftist bar, and it frequently hosts drag shows as well as sexual fetish events. Vanellope has performed at different events around the state of Oregon, sometimes with grown male performers in risqué outfits, since at least 2018. The girl has CashApp and Venmo accounts, where adults often send her cash tips. Photographs on her Facebook page also show her being showered on stage with dollar bills.
Adults often send cash tips to the CashApp and Venmo accounts for the child drag queen
Vanellope's handler, Jennifer Hibbs, is also her drag mom. She uses the stage name “Sunshine Ray MacPherson” and is a long-time LGBTQ activist. Hibbs clarified she is not the girl's parent or guardian as previously reported but is the handler for the child.
“Her actual mother does her choreography so that it's all appropriate,” Hibbs said. “We wouldn't let her do anything suggestive… it's terrible that people assume that we would let her do that.”
Jennifer Hibbs, who performs as a drag queen named ‘Sunshine Ray MacPherson,' is a ‘drag mom' and handler for 11-year-old drag queen, Vanellope
The announcement of the Oct. 23 drag event was met with both praise and criticism in the comments section. Criticism was also levied at Vanellope's official Facebook page, which show her wearing revealing outfits and being photographed at low angles. The pub was quick to delete any criticisms, including those by a local mother who stated that one of the child's “drag moms,” or mentor, had recently been arrested for child sex crimes. The claim is accurate, The Post Millennial can report.
On Aug. 11, Vanellope's other long-term “drag mom,” Kelsey M. Boren, who uses the stage name “Alwaiz Craving,” was arrested in Lane County and charged with 12 felonies related to making and distributing child porn. Prosecutors found the 32-year-old such a danger to the public that they successfully petitioned the judge to deny her bail. At the time of her arrest, Boren was a teaching assistant for special education students at Veneta Elementary in Veneta, Ore. She allegedly told detectives that her need for child porn was like an “uncontrollable itch that she couldn't stop.”
‘Drag mom' Kelsey M. Boren, who uses the stage name ‘Alwaiz Craving,' is currently in Lane County Jail for child sex abuse charges
“[Boren] obviously made horrific choices and she is no longer a friend,” Hibbs said. “She had extremely limited time spent with Vanellope.”
However, according to multiple social media photos of them together, Boren had been mentoring Vanellope in drag performing since the girl was at least seven years old. The child even adopted the name “Craving” into her own drag persona. Boren's social media account states she held the title of “Miss Heart of Oregon” for local LGBTQ charity, the Imperial Sovereign Court of the Emerald Empire.
‘Drag mom' Kelsey M. Boren with Vanellope before being arrested for child sex crimes
Hibbs says she believes Vanellope was not victimized by Boren because they were never alone together as far as she knew. Boren's trial is scheduled for Dec. 13.
Despite the questions around the safeguarding of the child, Old Nick's Pub has doubled down on the promotion of their event and issued a call for community support. “The thing to remember: This isn't our first rodeo with hate,” the pub posted on Tuesday. “We've had white supremacists mad at us from day one for removing them from our spaces and not allowing them platforms on our stage.” The call for support was responded to by multiple Antifa-identified accounts on Twitter, who issued a “call for community defense.” Conservative accounts have also announced a protest against the venue.
Hibbs says the child is safe. “She is loved and protected, and is not being taken advantage of,” she said, adding that the girl only wants to make a difference in society. “Sometimes she donates her tips or part of her booking fee to charities.” When asked about the venue's upcoming “Fetish Night” on Oct. 28, Hibbs said: “I didn't know about that, but obviously minors will not be allowed for that.”
Old Nick’s Pub did not respond to a request for comment.