Don't Pretend Drag Queens at Libraries Aren't Promoting Anything to Kids
Just when you think the left can't behave worse, we find the inspiring story of public library officials in a Detroit suburb heroically defending their "children's story hour hosted by drag queens."
Since 2017, the Huntington Woods library has been hosting "Drag Queen Story Time," where little kids are read to by characters like former Miss Motor City Pride, "Miss Raven Divine Cassadine." Library official Joyce Krom discovered the San Francisco-born program online, after she followed a Google Alert promoting literacy. Huntington Woods, a "progressive, diverse community," shares borders with three other woke towns – Ferndale, Royal Oak, and Berkley – which taken together constitute the highest concentration of "CoeXist" bumper stickers outside of California. Consequently, nearly all city officials fully support DQSH, because they want to keep their jobs. But one city commissioner, Allison Iversen, a mother of four who resigned her seat last month to move to another city, dared to push back. In an email to librarian Krom, Iverson questioned the wisdom of DQSH "trying to push this idea that this is something ... completely natural." Iverson also worried that "the program could be 'planting a seed' about gender fluidity in children who would have otherwise never had to wrestle with the issue in their own lives."
Part-time library clerk Jon Pickell, "who has proudly watched the program thrive," rejects Iverson's concerns as "hogwash." The clerk, who identifies as gay, says DQSH "is not promoting anything. You're not going to end up as transsexual ... because you saw a drag queen story hour."
But according to the mission statement on the program's Facebook page, DQSH is indeed promoting something:
DQS captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real.
Role models are exactly that – models of behavior that adults want children to admire and emulate. Ideally, a child learns from the behavior and values of the role model and wants to do likewise. And what's being promoted by Drag Queen Story Hour is being "unabashedly queer."
Enlightened parents are bringing their small kids to see a drag queen because they want them to experience "all sorts of people." But this story time isn't just listening to a drag queen tell his own story, and it's for certain not about literacy. The goal is that the children "play" with their own identities, exploring "the gender fluidity of childhood." There's a testimonial on the DQSH website from a first-grade teacher who held Drag Queen Story Hour for his class. He triumphantly describes what his pupils told him afterwards, "[d]uring our debrief": "they were preaching the incredible lessons they had learned, like 'It's OK to be different' and 'There's no such things as "boy" things and "girl" things.'" So which is creepier: the idea of six-year-olds being "debriefed" after a pro-trans school activity, or that they come out of it "preaching" a first-grader's version of queer theory. It sounds positively evangelistic.
"Sexual help" expert Dr. Joe Kort also thinks it's bunk that little children can be harmed by DQSH. "Children can handle watching a drag queen reading a story," he says. "It's fun. It's dress-up. They don't get confused when they do this." But how does Kort know they don't get confused? Have gender researchers compiled statistics on how many post-story hour kids correctly answer the question, "Is Miss Raven a boy or a girl?"
Evidence that constant exposure to transgenderism bewilders children is piling up. In the U.K., referrals of children to gender identity clinics has quadrupled in only the past five years. According to The Telegraph, "[e]xperts have warned that the huge spike is, in part, due to the promotion of transgender issues in schools which they say has encouraged [children] to question their identity, and 'sowed confusion' in their minds." Chris McGovern, a former education advisor to the U.K. government, said, "People are making a career out of encouraging children to question gender at an age when they need to be left to be children. When teachers raise these issues children can become confused or unhappy and traumatised by it." Author and university lecturer Dr. Joanna Williams has said that growing "confusion about gender identity" is traceable to feminists "attempting to reshape school policies on gender [so that] children were being forced to 'unlearn' the difference between boys and girls."
Adolescents are impressionable, too. According to a published study of "Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria" conducted at Brown University last year (which the university swiftly pulled down because of the rapid onset of LGBT fury), more and more parents are reporting post-pubescent children who suddenly decide they're transgendered "in the context of belonging to a peer group where one, multiple, or even all of the friends have become gender dysphoric and transgender-identified during the same timeframe."
The study's author, assistant professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences Lisa Littman, said, "Of the parents who provided information about their child's friendship group, about a third responded that more than half of the kids in the friendship group became transgender-identified," a rate "more [than] 70 times the expected prevalence for young adults." In one case study, a "14-year-old natal female and three of her natal female friends were taking group lessons together with a very popular coach. The coach came out as transgender, and, within one year, all four students announced they were also transgender." Parents also described their child's "immersion in social media, such as 'binge-watching' Youtube transition videos and excessive use of Tumblr" immediately preceding their becoming gender-dysphoric. One distressed parent said, "I believe my child experienced what many kids experience on the cusp of puberty – uncomfortableness! – but there was an online world at the ready to tell her that those very normal feelings meant she's in the wrong body."
DQSH remains on the schedule in Huntington Woods because rainbow-blinded parents support the cause. (Notably, of the parents surveyed for Littman's study, the vast majority, 88.2%, hold favorable views on transgender issues.) The Conklins brought their 2- and 3-year-olds to see Miss Raven, and "didn't feel any need to explain what a drag performer was[.] ... We just wanted them to have these early memories of experiencing diversity as a social norm." Thanks, Mom and Dad! As Allison Iverson tried to say, "it seems like the wrong way to teach this kind of acceptance."
Dr. Kort's scornful defense that "children can handle" being read to by a drag queen is ludicrous. Children can "handle" lots of things they shouldn't have to, but why must parents and other adult leaders force them to handle a male narcissist vamping in "a white gown and sparkly tiara"?
At Miss Raven's first appearance last December, his own fey neediness was on display: "There's a lot of little people in this room and it made me nervous. I didn't know if you guys were going to like me or not. Do you like me?"
"The response," gushed the Detroit Free Press, "was yays and cheers." What else? They're kids. And isn't that really what this is all for – not literacy, but making a transvestite and the rest of the LGBT world feel better about themselves?
T.R. Clancy looks at the world from Dearborn, Michigan. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.