by Aaron Warner
Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) has become national news over the past year or so. This unusual and, to many, inappropriate exposure of children to adult men dressed as hypersexualized women, burst into the limelight with all of the glitter and pomp one might expect from drag queens.
Proponents of the unorthodox method of engaging story time with children argue the need is rooted in allowing this otherwise marginalized group of people (i.e. drag queens) to interact with children in the otherwise innocuous setting of a public library. Listen closely and you hear apologists speak not about the literacy of children but about rescuing adult drag performers from their status as societal pariahs. Or is it both?
Critics of the idea say it’s not as organic and innocent as many would have you believe. Some eleven hundred of these have happened in the past couple of years. Does this sound like a fad or trend, like the ice bucket challenge? Or does it indicate by its very pedagogical nature that it’s a type of indoctrination of the youth?
Seeking answers for the motivation behind supporting this controversial movement, I emailed Lebanon, NH’s Kilton Public Library Director Sean Fleming to ask if he was aware of these criticisms. Sean is an excellent director who understands his role in guiding his public library. The facility is always immaculate, the staff is always friendly and Sean captains this ship with the mission in mind – to create an educational space that is inclusive and open to the entire community, including the marginalized.
After a friendly greeting, where he let me know he remembered me from past visits, he graciously answered my questions as I launched into them. When asked “what was the motivation for this event” he explained they have a program team whose job is to find events that will encourage community to attendance or otherwise meet educational needs. Not given to micromanaging, Sean states he usually doesn’t plan them but trusts his staff to make these decisions.
When I mentioned these DQSH’s are quite controversial around the country his rejoinder was simply “they are to some but also not to many others.”
Perhaps the most vocal and educated critic of DQSH is Dr. James Lindsay who did a four part series on his New Discourses podcast title “Groomer Schools”. In it he reads, cites and critiques the historical and academic documents written by such famous theorists as Gyorgy Lucaks, Herbert Marcuse, Paulo Friere, Judith Butler, Hannah Dyer and Gayle Rubin. What do these theorists have in common? It is not unorthodox dress with the hopes of teaching kids to read. Hardly – they are all avowed Marxists.
Sean attended both the trustee meeting that approved the event and the event itself. His take? The stories were innocuous. There were only two performers who, rather than dressed sexually explicit, appeared more “frumpy”. They also offered a craft where they made “crowns,” opining they pointed to some type of royalty rather than Marxism. I pointed out they are Drag “Queens” hence the crowns (which Lindsay mentions are tiaras crafted at other DQSH’s). This is literally an “a-ha” moment. I get the sense he’s relatively new to drag performances. Though this event sounded designed for children rather than a usual drag show for adults, here is a link to one that isn’t.
I mention these facts to Sean and he seems to dismiss them as impossible. “Communism”, he mentions, “has failed. Just look at China who had to adopt capitalism.” I agree. Communism is 0-49 in its attempts to surpass capitalism as a means to economic success and prosperity. However, living in Vermont, it’s anything but dead. It simply is hiding behind new faces, like progressivism, woke-ism, and these oppressor/oppressed narratives we see everywhere. Communism is Marxism, and Marxism is alive and well.
Sean is willing to listen, however he’s far from convinced.
To those who have studied Lucaks he was made Commisar of Education and Culture famously attempted to sexualize children in Hungary in the 1920s only to get thrown out of the country by angry parents who caught on to his deliberate scheme.
Marcuse left the Marxist Frankfurt School in Germany and came to the United States where he theorized the need to appeal to “the ghetto population and queers” in his Essay on Liberation. This call to revolution sparked the 1967 Watts riots in L.A. and is credited as the impetus for the recent Black Lives Matter movement. Candace Owens captures the hidden reality of Black Lives Matter as a financial funnel for queer and trans non-profits, among other things, in her documentary “The Greatest Lie Ever Sold”.
Friere is the third most cited author in all of academia, even more than Einstein. He is famous among Marxists as the author of Pedagogy of the Oppressed, which he wrote in his native Brazil. There he instituted his Marxist pedagogical methods in schools which many Brazilians claim effectively ruined their education system.
Butler, Dyer and Rubin are all women who have thrown their philosophical swords into the fight for queer normalization, which sounds oxymoronic. However Marxist theory relies on contradictions and the need to accelerate them to achieve Utopia. Sound mystical? Lindsay explains it’s more Gnostic than mystical. He is certain Marxism properly understood is actually a religion.
If it is a religion, then drag queens are the Pentecostals of the order, full of spirit and willing to push the boundaries. These members of Marxist royalty, per the directives of Butler, Dyer and Rubin, give a playful angle to the movement. Where Black Lives Matter and Antifa are militant (see Antifa offering protection at this DQSH) the Queens utilize their flamboyance to disarm an unsuspecting public with the intent of “leaving a trail of glitter in the carpet that will never come out”. Though DQSH isn’t explicit in their goal of indoctrinating children into queer futurity, the writings of Butler, Dyer and Rubin are. Herein lies the rub.
Part of the library’s policy is to avoid unfair discrimination. He mentions the Boy Scouts have a class action suit with sixty thousand plaintiffs and the library hosted them on numerous occasions without complaints, implying it would be unfair to treat DQSH any different. His observation? “There are going to be predators in every circle of life.” I know all too well this is a fair statement, however I remind him the definition of drag queen is a “man dressed as a hypersexualized woman”, which is quite different from a scout leader.
Another comparison he makes is magicians who offer child appropriate shows at the library while performing adult level shows in adult venues. This seems reasonable, but again the comparison is not apples to apples per se.
Taking the conversation in the direction of local concerned parents and other tax paying members of the community who either disagree on a moral level or feel threatened by such an event, Sean explains he’s already seen their emails. He sounds bothered that parents haven’t caught up to the times.
I voice my shared concern as a parent and grandparent and explain my background working as a program specialist in a house of highly functioning developmentally disabled pedophiles and that at least a few of these DQSH’s have had child sex offenders reading to children. Sean bristles, as most would, at the notion drag queens are typically pedophiles, and wants evidence. I promised to send it to him in an email.
When I ask if they vet the performers he tells me they “don’t do background checks”. This is my first serious red flag beyond the otherwise incongruent nature of small children being exposed to adults literally described as hypersexual, whatever the philosophy. As an expert in this area I know pedophiles go where the children are – period. The question remains, are he and the library prepared to deal with the consequences of failing to require background checks?
With eleven hundred of these gaining in popular support, the predators will come flocking. With lax background checks and blanket approval from unsuspecting adults this could mean disaster.
“We had a packed house. Some seventy to eighty people were in attendance and many of them were smiling on their way in.”
This sounds nice – who wouldn’t want to see more smiling faces these days? Who isn’t for getting kids who just got their education pummeled by COVID lockdowns back to enjoy reading and creativity? I, and most parents I know, are completely behind such positive changes.
However this is exactly the milieu predators cultivate. They lead teen groups, boy scout troops, teach in schools, day cares, become clergy, ascend in politics, throw pizza parties, and any other venue to create trust and distractions as they slowly target children. Predators are like lions in the jungle. They camouflage and move slowly. One might even say they dress up to disguise themselves.
At the very least I would expect the library and anyone else who intends to support these events get familiar with the local sex offender registry. Even keep a folder with their pictures so, God forbid, they decide to attend drag queen story hour in or out of a costume.
Running out of time Sean asks me to consider the shooting that just took place in Colorado Springs. Unfamiliar, he explains it was a targeted attack on gay night club. Implying this intolerance is a result of reactionary people who are intolerant of the LGBTQ lifestyle Sean bemoans the tragedy. So do I. In no way is violence ever the answer to lifestyle choice differences.
We find out later the shooter is a “non-binary” member of the LGBTQ community. Again, Sean’s assumptions turn out to be incorrect.
The real problem is whether or not we are placing children unnecessarily in unsafe environments. Are we dropping our guard and are we doing it because of a deceptive ploy by Marxists, who’ve done this already many, many times, and allowing our desire to enrich children’s education and civic desire to make our neighbors, queer though they may be, feel equally welcome to the public square? This is what Lindsay answers in detail in his latest book The Marxification of Education.
Marxists are not interested in children’s education, unless it’s to indoctrinate them. In order to do that they need to destabilize them. They don’t hide this, in fact, they describe it in detail. One of the best ways to destabilize them is their sense of identity. So if this new wave of DQSH’s is a Marxist form of praxis parents should be made aware.
Finally, since it’s nearing Christmas, I ask if the same space is available for a living nativity. Sean explains the same rules apply for anyone wanting to use the space. Go to the site, read the rules and guidelines and fill out a request. They truly do not discriminate.
For parents and patriots alike Sean has made it a safe place to compete in the arena of ideas. Maybe it’s time for folks to steal a page from the Marxist and use the public spaces to train your children up in the way they should go so they don’t depart from it, if their departing from it is your greatest concern.
For those wanting to see DQSH in action, Sean assures me they will likely have more, given the popularity of the first event. Like many churches in the Upper Valley, all are welcome to attend. However if your mission is to disrupt, act hatefully or otherwise spoil the fun of the patrons you will be asked to leave. You may disagree but they expect you to do so respectfully.
I do disagree but I trust the respect is mutual. Hopefully between now and then Sean and his staff will consider these points of safety and take the necessary precautions for the sake of the children.
Categories: Society & Culture