Nina West, RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 11 Miss Congeniality and Fan Favorite, is taking us back to school to learn “The Drag Alphabet”.
Nina firmly believes that children are our future and the fundamental task of learning the ABC’s doesn’t have to be a chore. From A is for “Absolutely” to Z is for “Zsa Zsa” children of all ages (yes, even the big kids too!) can have fun singing and dancing along all while learning some common phrases and words associated with Drag. The colorful video from Director Brad Hammer, features Nina alongside a group of children who dance and teach us the new words they have learned.
The video also celebrates and highlights 2 very special young women – Daniela Maucere a deaf teen from Burbank, CA and Ivy Alona, an openly Transgender, deaf 9-year-old, who sign the alphabet and associated words using ASL to include the deaf and hard of hearing while also teaching all children how to sign.
“Drag isn’t just a niche product anymore – Drag is for Everyone!” said Nina West. “I wanted to use my platform to teach the children of the world a new way to learn their ABC’s in a fun way while also teaching them some fundamental words and phrases from Drag culture. I want everyone to be able to be included and to learn alongside each other, so I was so thrilled when Dani and Ivy agreed to come and help teach me, as well as the audience how to sign The Drag Alphabet. Both of these amazingly talented young women represent the future and are forging their own paths, while bringing intersectional activism to two very overlooked and underrepresented communities. They inspire me to learn and keep teaching people that underrepresented communities like ours need voices, but they also need to do it in fun and educational ways. “
Knowing how tedious learning the basics of any language can be, I greatly appreciate Nina West’s zeal in finding new and exciting tools to give kids in easing their learning process. While reading is fundamental, one can’t read without knowing the foundations of language itself. Watching “The Drag Alphabet”, it is definitely a hilariously fun and energetic tool that I think both parents and teachers can use while teaching their younglings the English Alphabet.
Another item of note is how beautifully inclusive the video is in including ASL. I’m not that old (at the ripe age of 27), but I definitely don’t remember any of our children’s programs or materials in school combining the neurotypical Alphabet alongside ASL. As such, the language barrier has always been noticeable for any of us 80s and 90s kids growing up in school. However, by bringing ASL into the learning mix, Nina provides tools for all kids to learn ASL which I don’t even think is even taught in schools still until reaching a certain point in education i.e. via an elective.
All in all, I’m here to continue to applaud the efforts of Nina West because she is doing so much with her platform. We should all be here for this.