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"Do you think drag queens should perform for minor children?"


lesbotronic

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(Preamble:  We've received more email in response to this and this and the initial posts in this section.  We're offering zero guarantee of a personal reply to anyone sending questions via email, especially non-members.  But if we get same or extremely similar more than a few times, we might write about them here just so we can point to this section as a broader reply.

Questions in quotes were asked via email unless otherwise credited.)

 

These days, the aggressively dominating ethos of "queer" is unconditional sexual libertinism without restraint for XY, that no conceivable sexual pleasure should ever be denied or even slightly delayed.

It's not merely that every XY can behave as he wishes with other consenting adults, NOPE!  

It's that that XY's personal sexual feelings are not only paramount, but tantamount to his "gender identity" which could only ever be denied by sex negative prudes.  

If anyone says no to any sexual behavior from him for any reason, including there are non-consenting adults present and/or children that can't legally consent at all, that's not just some other adults saying they don't wanna consent and/or expose their kids to whatever in the usual way adults are allowed, NOPE!

They might be bigots!  

(Except still NOPE, not according to us.)

So . . . with that as a backdrop, "Do (we) think drag queens should perform for minor children?"

Maybe!  

Sometimes! 

Speaking for myself, not the hugest fan of drag in that I've only attended a few shows in person, but I've watched substantial stretches of RuPaul's Drag Race.  I say that to highlight that even within the limited context of only the drag I've witnessed, which is a small percentage overall, it's already abundantly obvious we need nuance here.

NUANCE!

So just from the first several seasons of RPDR, if you wanted a story hour appropriate for children, you'd send Nina West, not Detox.  (Not familiar?  What sort of act would you imagine with those names?  Since these queens have branded themselves well, you're probably 90% of the way there already.)

Or maybe you could send Detox if Detox solemnly swore to impersonate Nina West for the entire story hour.

But Detox's performances circa RPDR?  Would most of those be appropriate?

In the words of the late great Whitney Houston, hell to the no.

I don't think that's insulting to these drag queens, as I think quite a few queens with acts NOT appropriate for children actually agree and take pride in that being the case.  Most wanna entertain a nightclub full of other adults of legal age to purchase cocktails then engage in consensual sexual activity. They're actually not interested in children.  And as other adults, we should find this acceptable because they're also not performing for them.

If you were to say the following to Nina West:  You frequently perform for children, along with their parents.  No one in the audience ever complained.

And to Detox:  You could never perform for children, with or without their parents.  Absolutely everyone who ever found out would complain.

 . . . I imagine both queens would take it as a compliment.

. . .

And with that as my nuance-ily backdropped previous reply to this question, we were sent links to some videos.

Sigh.  Also, preamble:  No one needs to reply with any "not all XY" mess.  

Just because we know this would be a question from somebody: NO, we absolutely do not believe the vast majority of any demographic of XY is as exhibitionistic and predatory as those we're about to describe.  

If that was even as high as double digit, even as high as even 10%, all children would have to remain home under the watchful eye of a vigilant parent until they'd aged out of attractiveness to pedophiles.  

Seriously.  Or else they'd be victimized later that same day.

And yeah, somebody's going to say it's "unkind" for us to share this, but we know if we provide zero details folks'll ask anyway or wonder if we're pearl clutching (overly dramatic about not much)?

Unfortunately, we've not heard of a better example that you should never underestimate the ability of some XY to perv all over something non-consensually and thus inappropriately and MESS IT UP FOR EVERYONE!  Dammit.

Content warning:  If you don't want to read about some XY exhibitionists, click away now.  Also no, we're not posting the links because I'll not have public links pointing from here to there, not promoting this like that NOPE.  If you feel you must see, go ahead and google, but depending on what keywords you use you'll likely find a lot extra and similar, be forewarned.

All 3 below took place inside what looked to be a library full of moms with kids mostly under 10, late morning, everyone gathered in a circle or half-circle in a relatively small room with the performer in the center:


 

- video #1:  2 XY simulating anal intercourse, both loudly grunting to add to the reality of the simulation, which went on for one of the longest minutes I've ever personally witnessed

 

- video #2:  XY wearing toolbelt covered in dildos, shaking dildos at some audience members, slapping a few nearby others upside the head, then flinging a few one by one toward audience members farther away, one somehow smacked a boy of about 6 after he apparently failed to catch it?

 

- video #3:  XY wearing nothing but tiny panties and a wig, slowly jiggling his hips while holding onto a reading area rocking chair.  Since the panties were clearly designed for XX and he has adult XY junk, it's all jiggling and wiggling and periodically peeking out.  Meanwhile, the admirably athletic cameraperson was both swaying back and forth suddenly, then zooming out, seemingly at random.  Then we realized she kept it moving like that as the junk jiggled forth. 

 

Also, don't know if it's worth noting that none of the 3 featured stories?  Seemingly just skipped over the part of story hour where the queen was maybe going to read children's books to the children?

Or is that just good news at this point?

 

SO:  #1 and #2 are just fine for an audience of at least vaguely consenting adults.  I'm almost certain RPDR has already featured both simulated intercourse (variously) and toolbelts covered in dildos?  And were any of us upset about it, did we think it was inappropriate NOPE!

#3:  Hadn't seen anything like that before, I think because a lot of drag is a lot about the outfit?  So the drag queen would have to put one on.

Or, the show as described could be OK for consenting adults but I don't know what to call that.  I didn't think it was drag exactly, and I know some people more familiar with drag that agree, but it's subjective?  Sure, but this was also merely a not-at-all-granny panty on a well-endowed jiggling man and . . . you're done now?  That's a whole drag show?  

Um.  Boo?

Also remember, all the videos seemed to take place inside a library full of moms with kids mostly under 10, late morning . . . with most of the moms' facial expressions starting out politely smiling then gradually freezing while their eyes got larger and larger . . . some sneaking glances sideways at each other . . . and one little boy looking back and forth at several different adults with an openly confused expression and UM HELLO YES THAT IS THE ONLY CORRECT REACTION.

The little boy knew.  The cameraperson knew.  

Most of the other adults in the room who weren't performing were clearly uncomfortable too, but somehow . . . they didn't feel they could say anything.

So back to nuance:  If you're organizing a drag queen children's story hour, do you think it'd be appropriate to accept any XY who says he's on a "gender journey?"  Or should he have history as a drag queen in the sense of ever having been one anywhere public prior to your upcoming children's story hour?

Does the queen in question have an act any adult you know has ever witnessed?  

Or is that just a random XY who wants to jiggle around a rocking chair in a brightly lit library wearing nothing but a wig and wee panties in front of a large group of unsuspecting moms and little kids?

At about 10 a.m.?

If you think you can attract legitimate performers with kid-appropriate acts just by saying hey?  Who'd like to entertain some kids?  Then seeing who drops by? 

Mr. Panties may be on his way over as well!

 

(Because you should never underestimate the ability of some XY to perv all over something non-consensually and thus inappropriately and MESS IT UP FOR EVERYONE!  Dammit.)

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Was there supposed to be actual video links? I personally don't like drag the same as I don't like clowns-- it feels like someone is hiding behind that dress up and I don't like the hiding since I don't know WHY they're hiding (fake Santa falls into this category, too). Both kind of creep me out. And no, I don't understand the need for someone in drag reading to children at all, regardless of the intention. Why do this? Why is this even a thing? Like you, I can sort of understand drag, for those who appreciate it in an adult club setting, but why be in drag reading to children? Isn't there a better way to teach tolerance than that?

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I enjoy some drag shows, some burlesque, some cabaret. Not all, and why should I? There's different kinds, different acts, etc. etc. I know drag performers here. I appreciate their talent, dedication, and training. The last show I attended gave me a bit of hope that all is not lost for the LGBTQ+ community here in my rural sometimes scary region. 

Would I take children to their performances? Depends on the children (older teens, maybe)  and depends on the nature of the show.  But the ones described above? I wouldn't care to see any of these myself, let alone have them take place in my library. Wrong place, wrong time. They sound like someone is trying to provoke violence. No drag performer in today's mileiu would do something like in these videos unless they were actively itching for a fight. But using children in a library to pick such a fight? Where these videos dated? Is there any way of verifying that these actually took place? I'm not calling @lesbontronic's truthfulness into question here, mind you. But this sounds so exteme that I wonder. Librarians have to be careful vettors and esp. of content delivered to children. (And if anyone wants to start with me over books you think need to be banned, do so by PM. Don't hijack this thread!)

 

 

 

violence, b/c in this day and time 

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LoloKS said:

Yes, drag queens should perform for children and yes, children should perform for drag queens.

Both drag queens and children like to play dress up.  Just be nice and share.

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Sigh.  Can't make this much shorter.

So back in 2021, we described how we finally reluctantly did a Twitter because of this . . . then everything we were messaged after that, led to this . . . then that still wasn't enough so we had to write this . . . but the sexism still continued, so then the first 8 numbered posts in this section . . . then later, the next 6 not-numbered posts in this section.

So 17 posts, most several pages in length, cataloging various sexism happening (sometimes even with kids in tow) within the "queer community."   (Not assuming you read all, but after even one or two others, you'd quickly absorb that it is a lot.)   We took the time to write that whole mess because we were having a hard time believing ALL OF IT. 

Every single thing we called sexist surprised us, at least the first several times we encountered it.  It took a good long while to disabuse us of our default assumption that anything we found this problematic within the queer community had to be outlier.

So we really do understand why you'd find one of the videos surprising.

But one video is the only thing that gave y'all pause in like, 50 pages of material?  

That part breaks my heart.

. . .

But as for the lack of linking to what we did not, that was always intentional.

When we had emotional and intellectual problems with gender ourselves while unsurprisingly simultaneously hearing same from other women as well . . . we wondered how we could criticize this behavior within the "queer community," but in a way we could still feel we were beyond reproach.  (Or at least as much as we could realistically manage.)

Other women criticizing this same strain of sexism have been viciously and personally vilified, not just via opinions shared back, but threatening/actual physical violence, doxxing, harassing family members, etc.   We obviously don't agree with this behavior, as described in the post about moderating this section, plus obviously the need for that.

You already noticed the lack of links to videos but perhaps not also that . . . there's not a single solitary opinion or quote or description of behavior among those we're complaining about in any of the posts listed above that's actually attributed?  Not the videos.  Not the quotes.  Not the behavioral descriptions.  None of it.  And no, not everyone wanted to be anonymized.  

It was a weird way to write but we had a reason:  If we're complaining about someone else's lack of morality with regard to women, how do we complain in a way that still feels moral to us?  Or in other words, how do we not silence ourselves yet not model ourselves after the people with whom we severely disagree?  

Like, if you sincerely believe witch hunts to burn feminists are wrong and you want to credibly complain about that, maybe you can't even appear to be attempting a [someone sexist here] witch hunt in reply.  There's no social media "beatdown" or internet "fray" we would ever want to join in on, any way.

Meanwhile, we have quoted and referenced specific stuff, but there's no outlier POV.  We removed some ruder language and slurs and referenced what we did because wow, this finally got to lesbotronic too BUT:  I kid you not when I say all the attitudes quoted and videos referenced have already trended on Twitter.  

So we'd rather not even appear to be attempting any witch hunts in reply for moral reasons, but again, since there are so many sexists, we point that out again to say that unfortunately at the same time . . . 

NONE of the stuff we're complaining about regarding sexism and gender is unique to any one individual.  We don't want to witch hunt any one sexist OR point at any one person or video or even group like it's mostly about them specifically when unfortunately . . . 

NOPE!   Not!

Acting like one individual or instance is super important is arguably misleading and contrary to our overall point that what's super important in reality is that there is a lot, and these are only a few examples.

But meanwhile!  Anyone we've quoted positively with happiness in our hearts is attributed precisely so you can know exactly who and where.  If you'd like to read more from that author, should be easy, and we recommend it.

. . .

So 2.5 reasons we're not attributing the stuff we're not while also calling it problematic:

#1: (above)

# 1.5: less important but still valid, we also don't want to be seen as promoting/link boosting/sending traffic to stuff we don't approve of, folks have accused us of that many times in the past but still . . . mostly #1 and #2

#2:  Like we said elsewhere same section, most sharing their reactions to this section thus far said we (at lesbotronic) were tardy to the party or slow learners regarding our observations regarding sexism within the queer community, mostly due to our mostly lack of participation in mainstream social media 

OR 

they were surprised, possibly shocked.  Because they didn't already know.

If you're still in the latter category, we want you to go look for yourself, but at a lot more than just a few example links.

If you have any level of disbelief, we want you to actually go looking for some of these sort of videos or attitudes on your own on Google.  Or if you prefer Twitter, it's absolutely all inside Twitter too, but either way, whether or not you're easily able to find exactly what we're referencing isn't important because whether or not you find same you'll notice it's easy to find more and similar . . . 

. . . which we'd prefer over gawking at one link or one person or one group.

Because when you find more and similar and all on your own, it'll get more difficult to conclude we're completely hysterical.

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I must have my settings on YouTube adjusted to prevent seeing the sort of vids you've described. I watched 10 or so vids and didn't find such icky displays. Not disputing you, just saying I didn't find them. I only looked on YouTube, though, coz I left FB/X-Twit/Insta awhile back. I could maybe tweak to find these but then I'd have YouTube throwing other ick at me, too. So I'll just say that there are limits; any children's librarian worth their degree should exercise some control over what's done in the children/YA section. Because these days librarians are fair game no matter what. 

Unfortunately I can see this type of thing-the inappropriate displays and sex-toy throwing, for instance-whether done to provoke tempers for or against the trans community. I used to have a tiny bit of faith in human beings to be rational kind people. I'm now starting to think that many (a disturbing many) of the people living here (or there or anywhere) have just abneged on the fragile web that used to hold outright insanity in check. Idk. Probably it never existed. We fooled ourselves that it did in places or at times. Now we just get repeated illustrations that it doesn't. 

Did this address the topic at all? Bad week already, so apologies for going so dark in my view.

 

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I was pretty horrified to hear these stories of the inappropriate (to say the least) "drag" performances in front of children. It really just... leaves me kind of gobsmacked that people's judgement can be so fucked up. IMO one way to look at drag is as a form of 'clowning' (Yes, "women as clowns" I see the problem there, but aside from that part of it.) and could some of that be Ok for kids? Sure, have a man in a dress read to your kid. Big hair, sparkly clothes, zesty make up = clown. But then there are all the other drag performances that are not and have NEVER been for minors. I mean, why is that so freaking hard to understand? The problem is either with the adult "drag queens" being sociopaths or paedos who are trying to fuck with kids and/or their parents or the adults who run the programs not doing their due diligence or both. I mean, honestly, I don't really get why drag queens reading to kids became an activity for anyone. Sure, first amendment rights to perform in drag, be in public spaces, doing your thing, that's great. But surely there are laws still about decency and sexual harassment and exposing yourself to a minor (if not also other adults). I'm with Kel - I'm really staring to question my faith in humans. 

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Hey, here's a tidbit I came across myself on the used-to-be-twitter in re: drag queen story hour: why does it have to be kids?

You know who else might really enjoy some drag queen story hours? Old people!

Sitting around bored in their care homes with eyeballs too tired to read, or eating lemon squares at their senior centers hoping for a little entertainment. This is ALSO community engagement. This is ALSO something that can be done for 'Visibility'. This is ALSO something to win over hearts and minds -- with your charming, artsy, ribald, clowning ways. And... NO worries about being inappropriate around the Minor Children. (Redundant, I know. For emphasis.) 

There. Solved it. 

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