Kelly Mantle attends "RuPaul's Drag Race" Season 6 Party at Stage 48 on February 19, 2014 in New York City Source: Robin Marchant/Getty Images

Drag Artist Kelly Mantle Reveals a Surprising Connection to a Sports Great – and Details the Support He Gave Her

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 2 MIN.

If Kelly Mantle's surname seems somewhat familiar, that's because the "Drag Race" Season 6 queen is the niece of baseball all-time great Mickey Mantle.

But it wasn't just on the field of play that Mantle was a champion. Kelly Mantle told People Magazine about how the sports icon was completely accepting of her.

"Despite being raised in a family where sports was very prevalent – with a football coach father and all-star athlete brother – Kelly says that she was encouraged to follow her passions," People Mag relayed. "Her uncle Mickey was among her fans."

"I was always his favorite when we would have little family events and stuff because I always made him laugh and I would perform for him," the actor, singer, drag artist, and Oklahoma native told the magazine, adding that her famous uncle would tell her, "You're gonna be a star."

And so she is, having grown up to be a comedian, singer, and genderfluid performer who has publicly embraced her authentic self.

Kelly had no doubt as to what her uncle Mickey would say to her now: "Like my parents and everyone else," the drag artist said, "he would fully embrace me."

"I was a very fortunate kid in that I had parents who accepted me and believed in me and encouraged me to be myself and to venture off into the areas I was naturally good at," she said.

It was a supportive family environment "that many young members of the LGBTQ+ community don't receive, Kelly notes," People Mag added.

Mantle is giving back by "partnering with Unilever's United We Stand program," the magazine detailed, "which describes itself as 'dedicated to help improve conditions and access to critical services for underserved 2SLGBTQIA+ communities.'"

The program has premiered a short film, "Threads Together," that Kelly was involved in developing, the article noted. The film "highlights Freedom Oklahoma," an organization that Kelly wanted to support "after the tragic suicide of nonbinary teenager Nex Benedict earlier this year."

As previously reported, Benedict was a 16-year-old who suffered bullying at school. After a violent encounter in a restroom, Benedict took their own life.

"I didn't hesitate for a second to say yes," Kelly Mantle said of her involvement with the short film. "Any way I can ever try to give back or shine a light on that community in Oklahoma, I will most certainly do it."

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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