The Real Purpose of Drag Queen Story Hour
Those who have voiced concerns about the dangers that drag events, such as Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH), pose for children (namely, sexualization and grooming) have been told that those concerns are baseless, that the events are harmless, that it is all just entertainment and fun, and that attending drag events is a way to understand the gay culture.
On January 25, 2021 an academic paper entitled Drag Pedagogy: the Playful Practice of Queer Imagination in Early Childhood," was published online in Curriculum Inquiry, an educational journal. The paper, recently called out by James Lindsay here and here and also by Christopher Rufo here, was written by Harper Keenen and Lil Miss Hot Mess (a founder of DQSH), who describe themselves as "a genderqueer drag performer/scholar and a trans scholar" (p.443).
Right off the bat, the abstract tells us the purpose of DQSH:
Ultimately, the authors propose that "drag pedagogy" provides a performative approach to queer pedagogy that is not simply about LGBT lives, but living queerly. (p. 440)
Then the authors state,
Through this programme, drag artists ... [are] positioning queer and trans cultural forms as valuable components of early childhood education. We are guided by the following question: what might Drag Queen Story Hour offer educators as a way of bringing queer ways of knowing and being into the education of young children?
The purpose of DQSH is not entertainment, nor to understand gay culture. The purpose is to turn children "queer" through an educational process.
What is queer, you might ask? Queer in this context comes from Queer Theory, the idea that asserts that sexual norms are oppressive, that actually anything normal is a problem. Ronald Pisaturo, author of Masculine Power, Feminine Beauty, a book that condemns the LGBT movement, defines a queer as "an activist dedicated to overthrowing capitalism, the system alleged to enforce oppressive sexual norms such as masculinity, femininity, and heterosexuality."
Turning children into Marxist activists is the goal. Because capitalism has not produced a populace motivated to revolt, Herbert Marcuse, the father of the New Left, advocated creating discontented groups, one of which is sexual "queers." This goal is supported by LGBT ideology. Pisaturo explains (p. 113) that, according to LGBT theory,
Infants are "polymorphously perverse," to use Freud's term. That is, an infant will be sexually excited by anyone and anything anywhere. Freud considered this infantile state an early stage of development. Marcuse and many LGBT activists, in contrast, consider this state the ideal end state for adults. According to Marcuse, people leave this ideal state only because they become repressed, limiting the kinds of sexual responses available to them. The repressed energy of such people becomes channeled into economic production[.] ... That is, productive work is the repressed alternative to blissful, indiscriminate sex. Capitalism, of course the system of greatest economic production, is hence also the system of greatest sexual repression[.]
Therefore, capitalism must be destroyed.
The "Drag Pedagogy" paper tells us,
It may be that DQSH is "family friendly," in the sense that it is accessible and inviting to families with children, but it is less a sanitizing force than it is a preparatory introduction to alternate modes of kinship. Here, DQSH is "family friendly" in the sense of "family" as an old-school queer code to identify and connect with other queers on the street. (p. 455)
Pisaturo explains, "The phrase 'preparatory introduction to alternate modes of kinship' means sexual and Marxist grooming. The authors want to eradicate the traditional family by grooming children to join the 'family' of queers."
In her 1984 essay, "Thinking Sex," leading queer theorist Gayle Rubin blamed capitalism for suppressing sexual deviancies and defended child pornography, pedophilia, promiscuity, sadomasochism, and other sexual perversions. One can see these perverse elements when the drag queen struts around like a slut, grooming children by exposing them to explicit sexual acts and/or private body parts. And when the queen invites the child to participate, that is sexual assault of a minor.
Attempting to turn children into queers is bad enough, but there are other alarming elements to DQSH. Drag queens teach the children that reality is fluid:
Drag similarly breaks boundaries between reality and fantasy in allowing performers to take on new identities and social relationships in material form, just by playing the part. (p.449)
At many DQSH events, children ask genuine questions like "are you a boy or a girl?" ... In many cases, drag queens may not respond with answers, but with questions meant to complicate perceptions of gender and society: "why does it matter if I'm a boy or a girl?" (p. 452)
That response reveals an astonishing ignorance about child development. The answer matters a great deal to the child who is just beginning to learn about reality and form concepts. The first judgment anyone perceives about another person is whether the person is a girl or a boy. Man or woman? To destroy that demarcation and bring in the arbitrary to a child, that a man can be a woman, is to undermine the important, fundamental concept of reality, that reality is stable and cannot be wished away. Serious cognitive damage is done by blurring the child's grasp of reality. For the child, an unstable reality confuses him, frightens him, and sabotages his ability to navigate the world.
Children are also taught to be defiant — not for a valid reason, but for the sake of defiance:
While drag has some conventions, it ultimately has no rules — its defining quality is often to break as many rules as possible! (p.448)
An implicit objective of DQSH is acknowledged:
There is a premium on standing out, on artfully desecrating the sacred. (p.451)
They do not want to broaden or enrich the sacred (sexuality) through some kind of deeper understanding. They want to desecrate, to vandalize, to destroy.
And this is disturbing:
She is less interested in focus, discipline, achievement, or objectives than playful self-expression. Her pedagogy is rooted in pleasure and creativity borne, in part, from letting go of control. (p. 451)
The authors are not teaching children how to use their minds. Instead, they are teaching children to be abnormal, to be queer, to be pawns in the movement to tear down the normal.
Do people really think it is harmless to bring children to see sexuality portrayed not as a sacred expression of love for one special individual, but as frivolous "desecrating" for the benefit of any and all strangers? To see sexuality divorced from thought and romance? To see sexuality portrayed as ugly caricature? To see sexuality, which is intensely personal, selective, and meaningful, made voyeuristic, indiscriminate, and meaningless?
The young child learns from observation; he learns from absorbing his environment. Everything that he sees and experiences makes an impression upon his mind before he has the ability to evaluate it. The "desecrating" of sexuality will make a child's mind abnormal regarding sex and all cognition, and that is exactly the goal of the drag queens. The concerns about DQSH aren't baseless, and DQSH isn't harmless. It is precisely child abuse.
Charlotte Cushman is a Montessori educator who taught for over 40 years, and co-owned and operated two Montessori schools. She has been involved in the study of Ayn Rand's philosophy since 1970. Her website on opposition to social justice in Montessori is authenticmontessorieducation.com.
Image via Pxhere.