Welcome to the latest goofy liberal program, Drag Queen Story Hour. Yes, you read that right, Drag-Queen- Story- Hour. Just when Americans believe they have earned the right to claim, “I have seen it all,” psychedelic mushroom clouds explode over the San Francisco Bay area and New York City, raining down rainbow glitter, smothering children and families with the fallout of pandering to liberal ideologies, lest we label them “phobic du jour.” Lo and behold, what has emerged through the fallout is an army of drag queens who have been enlisted by the public libraries and schools to read stories to our children.
Drag Queen Story Hour is the brainchild of Bay Area library benefactor, RADAR Productions, and East Coast-based Feminist Press. If you aren’t familiar with Radar, they state on their website the group, “serves queer audiences and artists in San Francisco through free and affordable literary arts programs that authentically reflect Queer communities’ experiences.” Peachy, and not unexpected in California. The Feminist Press was founded in 1970 to publish women writers that pushed, well, feminism. They have branched out and now add on their banner, “we have become the vanguard for books on contemporary feminist issues of equality and gender identity.” If you want to peruse book titles that you won’t find on the shelves at Barnes & Noble, and that would make a salty sailor blush, have at it by clicking here.
Drag queens are lining up to participate in the bi-coastal program. Yves St. Croissant, Lil Miss Hot Mess, Cholula Lemon, Miss B Drag and Merrie Cherry, all famous in drag king and queen circles, have participated and seemed to embrace the program. Libraries in the Bay Area and New York City both promote the Drag Queen Story Hour with this introduction:
What do drag queens and children have in common? They love dressing up and all things sparkly and fancy! Drag Queen Story Hour captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity in childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models.
And who is coming to read to the five and six-year-olds you may wonder? Meet Black Benatar, who is a staple storyteller at the Oakland public library. They tout a very playful photo of Benatar in cat makeup and boast that she loves kids:
Black Benatar thinks kids are the best and loves reading books to them that celebrate lgbtq and multicultural families and identities.
I’m sure she does love kids. But she does have a much less playful side:
I am playing with femininity and taking it to the grotesque. I ask myself ‘How far can I push the tropes of femininity?’. How far until they become gross, until they are scary and off-putting? Until they become a weapon against oppression, misogyny, and rape. I am playing with weaponizing femininity, making it aggressive, powerful, and something I can wield like a sword. Something that can protect me.
Ona Louise is the dominating Queen at the Brooklyn Library:
Storyteller Ona Louise grew up in the buckle of the Bible Belt, but always dreamed of bright lights and big city living. Now glimmering in NYC, Ona is the caretaker of the garden of hopes and dreams, watering the young budding minds of the future.
All things considered, the storytelling queens appear kind towards the kids and embrace childhood as a destination that they tend to revisit often. During one noted storytelling session in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, one queen entertained the crowd with this rhyme, “Five clumsy drag queens wearing big shoes, one fell down and her hair did, too!” You can see the full video of that performance here. How do you explain what a drag queen is to a small child?
The Edmonton program, dubbed Over The Rainbow Storytime, was lobbied by Kristopher Wells, faculty director of the Institute of Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta. In his view, Edmonton is a traditional, conservative environment and he wanted to promote equality and kindness to impressionable children:
“What I’ve learned today is there’s nothing better than a drag queen reading a story,” said Wells.
“I had tears in my eyes seeing the families stream in here and the excitement where people felt safe and at home,” he continued.
To see the rapt attention of these kids, the excitement, the happiness, the freedom to be themselves, to celebrate their families and reflect our community, this is what pride should be all about,” Wells added.
The program appears to be a success in the Bay Area and New York City, and if there has been an uproar from Christians, conservatives, traditional family groups, there is little coverage to be found in the establishment media. No surprise there. However, it could get a tad bit interesting if Drag Queen Story Hour hopes to migrate towards middle America or if they will continue to seek safe spaces in California and New York. I can hear a farmer in Iowa right now exclaim, “Now, I really have seen it all.”