Mum lets teenage son give her a makeover to support his love for drag

Matti Elliot is only 17 but he wants to take his drag queen alter ego Amber Lynne to the big stage – and his mum Claire is helping him every step of the way.

The 49-year-old lets him practise his make up techniques and loves when he transforms how she looks.

The mum-of-two now regularly enjoys throwing herself into the world of drag alongside her boy.

Claire, who runs a dog boarding house from her home in Cranleigh, Surrey, said: ‘I actually love it, it’s so much fun!

‘It’s a great time to bond too and we have such a laugh doing it.

‘Most of the time Matti wants to practise on himself but there will be those occasions when he needs a new canvas… and I’m more than happy to oblige.

‘Any time I’ve got a spare few hours or even if his mates are over he’ll make us sit down to get our make-up done.

‘He’s getting really good at it now and it’s such a fun world to be in.

‘He’s got a bit of a unique selling point too as most drag queens mime their songs but he’s a trained singer and so won’t have to.

‘I always knew that he was special and so we weren’t at all shocked when he said he wanted to be a drag queen.

‘We’re both obsessed with Ru-Paul’s Drag Race on TV and I think watching it gave Matti the extra confidence boost he needed to go for it.

‘He’s been doing it for a year now and loves, he wants to do it for a job.’

Claire says that her teen was obsessed with Disney princess dresses and would always choose the dressing up box over other toys.

As he got older, he showed more of an interest in the art of drag and has been performing as Amber Lynne – a take on Henry VIII’s second wife – with The United Shapes of Drag group in The Apple Tree pub, Clerkenwell, London, for a year.

Mattie learned to sew in GCSE textiles which has been key for his drag career as he is able to save money by creating his own costumes.

He explained: ‘I was so lucky as I had a really supportive teacher and she said I’d have to take textiles if I was serious about drag, so I did!

‘I can easily knock up a quick leotard or whatever now, but for the more special costumes I go to to a fabulous designer on Etsy who makes amazing gowns.

‘I’ve improved so much since I first dabbled with it at 13.

‘I used to love watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race and basically tried my first proper drag after just seeing one episode.

‘I’ve honestly never looked back, it was like everything suddenly made sense. It’s such a vital show.

‘It definitely used to feel very much like something that society wouldn’t be happy with and before watching, I didn’t have any idols or role models to aspire to.’

Being into drag at school was difficult for Matti but he was determined to pursue the art and even went to prom as Amber Lynne.

Mum Claire added: ‘We are so proud of him and all that he’s achieved.

‘I know that he might come across negativity out in the world, he already has, so I really feel it’s my job to make home as lovely as possible and somewhere he can feel 100% supported.

‘School was hard at times, as it will be when you’re young and doing anything alternative, but Matti had great people around him.

‘He was even brave enough to go to prom in drag, luckily he was supported by all his friends and teachers.’

Matti said: ‘It’s just feels normal to me to have such a supportive mum, but I do realise how lucky I am.

‘She’s always just allowed me to go down my own path, as long as she can make sure I’m safe, she’s happy.’

The teen – who is currently studying song writing at the Academy of Contemporary Music, in Guilford, Surrey – is through to the finals of drag pageant, Miss Drag UK.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic the pageant has been postponed until next year, 2021, but Claire says Matti has taken this knockback in his stride and it will give him ‘even more time to polish up each outfit!’.

The contest will raise money for two charities: mental health charity, Mind UK and Abigail’s Footsteps, a child bereavement charity.

Despite being keen for a career in drag, at only 17-years-old, sensible Matti is in no rush.

He said: ‘At the moment I’m taking one step at a time.

‘I would really love to win Drag UK this year, I just want to get my name out there.

‘Things will be easier when I hit 18 anyway.

‘I always say that I feel like Amber Lynne is a painting that I’ve been working on for five years.. and that it’s finally ready.’