There is little room for polite interpretation when the headline reads “Drag Queen Flashes Crotch to Children During ‘Story Hour’ Event,” as RedState reported on Oct. 29. Rather than hyperbole or an overreaction, the headline describes the event very literally. On Oct. 18, 2019, an organization called Child Protection League Action posted a disturbing photo taken at a Minnesota public library featuring a drag queen sitting in a chair with his legs spread open, revealing his crotch to the children sitting in front of him.
The photo was taken mid-movement, with the presenter clearly in the middle of a performance, and looks accidental. It is unclear if nudity is involved, but the image perfectly demonstrates the concern of conservatives and parents everywhere. Adult entertainment is not suitable for children.
The drag queen, a young man who goes under the name “Sasha Sota,” performs at gay night clubs and posts videos of his performances. He is not a comedian like legendary drag queen Bianca Del Rio. He does not perform as a character like the hilarious and iconic Trixie Mattel. He is a provocative adult entertainer, and as so many on the right have been screaming from the rooftops for years now, such entertainment is simply not for kids. Those that promote drag queens reading to small children nationwide seem intent on refusing to recognize this fact.
People Have Real Concerns About Drag Queen Story Hour
Drag Queen Story Hour, as it is known internationally, is intended to be an advocacy movement to normalize LGBT culture and open gender creativity for children. The idea behind it, as told by a drag queen named Tree Empress 45 Onalicious Mercury, is that “You can be anything you want, I’m a drag queen.” He continued saying, “We’re the embodiment of fantasy and fairy tales. … Why not be for kids?” The curator for the San Diego History Center, which also features drag queen children’s events, argued, “Kids respond to its color and its charm and its funniness, and they are entertained.”
But the reality is that behind the positive ideals and open and inclusive messaging, the loosely organized events nationwide have caused some genuinely serious concerns for parents. On June 25, for example, a drag queen performed a song containing profanity and took off layers of clothing while dancing provocatively at a children’s event. At another children’s event, adults passed out condoms, sexual items, and phallic-shaped bookmarks with sexual education material. While performing at a Portland, Oregon event, one drag queen was photographed lying on the floor with several children piled on top of him.
More disturbing, multiple sex offenders — such as Alberto Garza, who performed in March of this year under the name Tatiana Mala Nina — have been reported at these events. There is no system in place to vet drag performers or standards to determine who should be allowed to participate. The program is supposed to encourage LGBT people to volunteer their time and talents to entertain children. But the refusal to address any controversy whatsoever is significantly undermining whatever good intentions are behind these events.
LGBT websites such as LGBTQ Nation have responded to these concerns with headlines such as “Hate group targets American Library Association over Drag Queen Story Hour.” Media Matters mocked conservative protests with the headline “Right-wing and evangelical media are freaking out over Drag Queen Story Hour in Washington.”
The writer insists, “Anti-LGBTQ figures have regularly fearmongered and spread lies about Drag Queen Story Hour, a national program in which drag queens read children’s books to kids at libraries, schools, and bookstores.” By responding with knee-jerk reactions chanting “hate” and “anti-LGBT,” advocates of the program miss the point of the argument. Many people involved want the best for the children, but only those on the right are willing to act on those concerns.
LGBT Activists Are Taking Things Too Far
A frustrating side-effect of leftist activism is a tendency to go overboard with idealistic initiatives. Rather than attempt to self-regulate these performances and set guidelines for organizations, performers, and parents, they take the opposite approach of a free-for-all. To set limits on the performances would be to acknowledge that conservatives are correct about the adult nature of the majority of LGBT culture and would therefore undermine their primary goal.
More honestly, many LGBT advocates simply do not respect parental concerns and see nothing wrong with presenting explicit sexual content to children, as evidenced by the distribution of condoms and sex guides. They prefer to mock conservatives instead of protecting the program they believe is so positive for children.
This is why the most recent controversy is so telling. The left and LGBT media have simply ignored it as of this writing, and it would be surprising to see any condemnation from them. They simply refuse to recognize the bad that overshadows whatever good they believe they are doing.
A second drag queen named Gemini Valentine also performed alongside Sasha Sota wearing a skintight bodysuit that could in no way be justified as appropriate for kids. Both performers came unprepared for their responsibilities and instead interpreted their performance as being like any other drag show. The performers did not consider their young audience or that their outfits were inappropriate. They did not think to protect the children watching them, accidental exposure or otherwise. And no one who advocates for them does either.
Keep Children Out of Your Progressive Stunts
Drag Queen Story Hour proponents must recognize they cannot allow just anyone to perform at these events, and content and behavior matter. A responsible approach would be to draft volunteers, perform background checks, vet drag styles and adult content, and then provide organizations and parents with details of who the performer is and what his show entails prior to events. From many interviews and reports, it appears many parents enjoy these events and want their kids to participate. They should know in advance their child is not going to be mere feet away from a sex offender or a person who did not think to cover his private parts when sitting down in a dress.
I do not believe drag queens are suitable entertainment for children, even though I understand and admire the positive intentions behind many of the performers who volunteer. There is a valid argument that these performances are no different than clowns or people dressed as characters reading stories to children. But until the movement can recognize it is not self-validating and immune from criticism or standards, Drag Queen Story Hour should not be permitted in publicly funded arenas.
LGBT activism insists on presenting the absolute extremes of the culture in a vindictive and spiteful display to provoke the right, and these activists seem to lack the awareness to understand the damage they are doing to themselves. While smugly mocking average Americans for disapproving of their avant-garde approach to entertainment and art, they undermine the efforts of the LGBT movement in all other areas.
They seem to love nothing more than involving children in these cultural stunts. The LGBT movement is no longer a bunch of wild and rebellious college students trying to shock their parents. We are adults now, and it’s time we take responsibility for our actions and ideas.
Chad Felix Greene is a senior contributor to The Federalist. He is the author of the “Reasonably Gay: Essays and Arguments” series and is a social writer focusing on truth in media, conservative ideas and goals, and true equality under the law. You can follow him on Twitter @chadfelixg.
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