by Jenni White
This month, the Maricopa County Library District canceled an event at their annual LibraryCon called “Reading With the Queens.” The event, in which three drag queens were to read diversity and tolerance-themed stories to children, was canceled by the Library District’s administration citing it had “no connection to the spirit of the LibraryCon event” and didn’t meet their story time program guidelines.
One of the drag performers believed the cancellation to be based on discrimination:
It’s disheartening but we are stereotyped.
So Drag Queens don’t want to be stereotyped? Who knew?
While many are puzzled by the concept of pairing men flamboyantly dressed in women’s clothing and full makeup reading stories to small children, it hasn’t stopped the phenomenon from becoming somewhat of a fad.
Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is the brain child of Michelle Tea and RADAR Productions whose first event at Harvey Milk Memorial Library in San Francisco in 2016 had drag queen Honey Mahogany reading stories, passing out cookies, and painting the faces of the children who crowded the room for story hour.
According to the DQSH website:
DQSH 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.
Now in Los Angeles, New York City and north New Jersey (according to their website), Drag Queen Story Hour is coming to life across the country (and the world) as more and more public libraries move toward the philosophy of Delgado Lopera, the executive director of RADAR Productions:
I think generally queers are not mixed with kids – especially drag queens. It’s really beautiful to have drag queens painting children’s faces and telling stories. It’s disrupting that idea that queers can’t mix with kids.
However, this pairing likely wouldn’t have been foremost in the minds of parents familiar with the nightlife of most drag queens — whose shows are not often G, or even PG, rated — but Lopera clearly has a vision of ‘disrupting’ that foreshadows a world without boundaries between men in women’s clothing and innocent children willing to learn what they can from their dolled up tutors.
Riffing off rising interest level, other public libraries — even in cities such as Phoenix, St. Louis and Kansas — are striking out into the drag queen story time frontier with versions of their own, using the drag queens available in their neighborhoods.
But, as one might imagine, Christians and conservatives aren’t clambering over one another to vault the drag-queen-reading-rainbow.
In October, Xochi Mochi incited internet furor throughout Christian and conservative websites after a drag queen reading performance at the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library in Long Beach, California.
An Instagram post of the event by Xochi pictured the entertainer in a full-length pink dress, matching cape and five red-tipped horn-like forehead protrusions reading aloud a story to very young children about tolerance and inclusivity:
I got to read to the children today and it was one of the best experiences I’ve been given as a drag queen. It’s so important to have representation and normalize all the letters in LGBTQIA+ in everyday lives. I saw so many excited faces it filled my heart with so much joy and hope to come back again soon! Thanks again to everybody who made this opportunity a reality and make such a successful LGBT event #🏳️🌈 #Repost @lbcitylibrary ・・・ Thank you to all who joined us today for a special Drag Queen Storytime with @xochi_mochi, celebrating #LGBTQHistoryMonth! 📚❤️💛💚💙💜
Xochi’s description of the event includes the line:
It’s so important to have representation and normalize all the letters in the LGBTQIA+ in everyday lives.
Not only does Xochi’s Instagram feed feature amazing, if not satanic-like, make-up and clothing that would scare the bejeezus out of any kid, the use of the word ‘normalize’ in the post created a ripple felt across the Christian-conservative network.
Selwyn Duke, writing in The New American, summed up the general consensus:
Of course, to “normalize” this abnormality is what this is all about. Gettin’ ‘em while they’re young – when their emotions are being shaped – is remarkably effective. It’s why we have sayings such as “Give me a child until he is seven, and I will give you the man” and Alexander Pope’s formulation, “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.”
Xochi Mochi’s visit also produced information about the American Library Association — the organization supporting public libraries — that few may know.
“Libraries have long been run by the ultra-leftist group, the American Library Association, which promotes anti-American programs like Muslim journeys,” writes Megan Fox. “This program brought Muslim imams into public libraries to proselytize to Americans about how ‘peaceful’ Islam is.”
Fox also points to the tendency of public libraries to offer often-pornographic books to children as young as middle school, and “sex education” classes offered to students but not parents — including free samples of condoms and lubrication gels.
To further complicate the issue, public libraries use an often convoluted funding system to provide access to books — and now wi-fi — for the public at large. Though private fundraising does help to support local public libraries, the majority of public library funding comes via taxation at the local, state and federal level. This puts taxpayers in the unenviable situation of supporting programs like Drag Queen Story Hour, whether they agree with the premise or not.
“Story time is, of course, optional, but funding is not,” writes Amelia Hamilton for National Review:
Taxpayers pay for the library, which means they’re paying for these hyper-politicized story times that teach kids to fall into line with left-wing values. That’s what this comes down to – a public entity offering programming to indoctrinate children into a specific (and ideological) way of thinking.
This isn’t about being open to a particular way of thinking, it’s about being closed to any other. Ladies and gentlemen, your tax dollars (and libraries) at work.
Photo credit: Screenshot via Instagram