by: Steve Fioravanti
The Controversy Surrounding Drag Queen Story Hour:
Is Drag Queen Story Hour family–friendly entertainment? Have our moral values and culture degenerated to the point where Drag Queen Story Hour is now considered normal in our society today?
I read a blog post by “Lil Miss Hot Mess” who performs regularly at these events. She has her own website, lilmisshotmess.com. She has authored a children’s book called The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish and she has performed for the Brooklyn Museum, HBO, and numerous libraries and schools coast-to-coast. She has also appeared at legendary clubs like The Stud and Queen Kong. I’ll let your imagination conjure up who might frequent such adult–only entertainment venues.
Hot Mess, as she refers to herself, serves on the board of Drag Queen Story Hour and is a professor at the University of Arizona. Is it any wonder why the standards in our institutions of education have degraded over time.
Drag performers, as described in the blog I was reading, were a “fearless army of sequined superheroes, standing on the shoulders of legends, brandishing the magic of books and our imaginations.”
I began to question my own deep-seated bias about Drag Queen Story Hour. Is it just harmless fun to witness grown men wearing wigs, dresses, garish make-up, and gyrating in a perverse and sexual display before an audience of children? Was I being insensitive by my own pious views?
Worried about being labeled a phobic of some sort, I visited the website of the American Library Association. Surely, the national organization of librarians would be all about protecting the virtue and innocence of our children. Using the search engine on their own website, I queried Drag Queen Story Hour. Lo and behold and to my amazement, there was a lot of content surrounding this highly controversial topic.
Reading the blog posts, I learned the definition of drag is simply adults playing dress-up. It sounds harmless enough. A drag queen from Spokane is quoted, “The fact that a drag queen is reading to a child is not putting that child at any more threat or risk than having your grandmother read to a child.”
Putting it that way, who would be against their grandmother reading stories to children? However, I think grandma would be far more modest in how she dressed and far less provocative when dancing in front of the children.
Continuing my research, you can cross link directly from the ALA (American Library Association) website to the official, Drag Queen Story Hour website. On this website I learned that Drag Queen Story Hour captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models as stated on their home page.
They proclaim this is now a global phenomenon. These events are happening all over the world at libraries, schools, bookstores, summer camps, even afterschool programs. Is this coming to a library near you? If a time-tested organization like the American Library Association is supporting this, it must be okay right?
I questioned my own beliefs. Is this simply an expression of art by supporting culturally-inclusive role models into our society? Or, is this a movement to normalize abhorrent behavior and an attempt to indoctrinate our children to an amoral lifestyle? After much soul searching, I believe it to be the latter.
Should one be concerned by people who will simply use this as a ruse to get in front of children? I found an article in The New American, published on March 18th, 2019. Titled, “Drag Queen Who Read to Kids at Houston Library Is Convicted Pedophile.”
The article confirmed that one of the program’s drag queens operating under the alias of, Tatiana Mala Niña (Tatiana “Bad Girl”), was Alberto Garza, a 32-year-old child sex offender. In 2008, he was convicted of assaulting an 8-year-old boy. He was sentenced to five years’ probation and community supervision. Somehow, he slipped through the cracks and was featured in a Houston library performing to children. A pro-family group uncovered this egregious security breach and blew the whistle.
The Houston library in question drew much public criticism for their gross negligence. “In our review of our process and of this participant, we discovered that we failed to complete a background check as required by our own guidelines,” library officials said in a statement. “We deeply regret this oversight and the concern this may cause our customers.”
The New American article stated that the very fact the library and countless others across the country are hosting Drag Queen Storytime belies the officials’ professed concern for their patrons. “Any reasonable person would see that Drag Queen Story Hour is a train wreck waiting to happen. It’s a program whose goal is to make children feel comfortable about LGBT behaviors. It features cross-dressing homosexual men in garish make-up and costumes who seem obsessed with reading “gay” themed books to very young children. These same men lead bizarre lives as “adult” sex entertainers. What could possibly go wrong?”
In conclusion, I harbor no ill will toward LGBT people. But hosting “drag queen story hour” at children’s libraries in an effort to normalize LGBT culture and promote sexual grooming to impressionable young children is simply unconscionable. If you are a concerned citizen, get involved. This agenda is being promoted in libraries across our nation and is fully endorsed by the American Library Association.