Tuesday, October 4, 2022
Home HEALTH Drag queen storytime is not a threat. It is a joy

Drag queen storytime is not a threat. It is a joy

I’m trying to imagine why a person would look around at this particular moment and decide that drag queens reading storybooks to children are a threat that must be thwarted.

I know minds reel from the number of ways and places our children can be harmed: Gun violence is now the leading cause of death for American children; The variants of COVID-19 continue to evolve; the American West is running out of water and children are choking on wildfire smoke; close to half of all Americans live in areas with dangerous levels of air quality; the proportion of high school students reporting persistent sadness or hopelessness increased by 40% over the last decade.

Persistent sadness or hopelessness.

I know some of the scariest and hardest to pinpoint threats live awfully close, but they’re maddeningly out of reach for parents, and on phones and other devices that are rarely more than a few inches from our fingertips. sons.

I know that our hearts are stretched, tired and sad.

But drag queens? Read storybooks? And play bingo? And create balloon animals, along with joy, laughter, lightness and a spark that ignites imagination, curiosity, openness and flexible thinking that serve young people in each of their endeavors?

It is not a threat. In any case, a balm.

And yet. Across Illinois, libraries, cafes and other venues that host drag events for families have been threatened and have canceled shows and even cleaned up the vandalism. UpRising Bakery and Cafe in Lake in the Hills had its windows smashed and hate speech sprayed on its walls before scheduling “Starry Night Brunch Drag,” a sold-out event for families.

Similar threats and cancellations are taking place in the United States and the United Kingdom. In Florida, state Rep. Anthony Sabatini called for legislation that would end parental rights for adults who bring their children to drag events.

“There seems to be a lot of confusion that drag has to be sexual,” artist Ginger Forest told the Chicago Tribune. “And that’s not true at all. On our show specifically, we don’t wear revealing clothes.” We do not use profanity. We do not make songs that are not appropriate for children. So basically what I would say is, go experience a show and see for yourself how magical it can be.”

Magic like a certain kingdom in Florida? Where do millions and millions of parents bring their children each year to delight in the company of adults dressed as mice, ducks, squirrels, princesses and whatever Goofy?

Children don’t need everything to fit neatly into socially constructed rows. They need love. and wonder and hope And new experiences. and stories AND radical acts of kindness.

Adults too. Including the adults performing the performance.

Life is not a carnival of yesteryear, where the dominant culture manages to subjugate people they have deemed misfits or less, and then charges admission for the crowds to point them out and gasp.

It is reprehensible that people who set out to bring some joy and inclusion and a sense of belonging to children are threatened. It’s ridiculous for policymakers to imagine ways to penalize parents who want their children to participate in that joy, inclusion, and sense of belonging, parents who want their children to know the humanity, range, and full three-dimensional experiences of people with whom they share this land.

I don’t know how to make the world less scary to raise children. I don’t know how to stop gun violence or solve the water crisis or even log into Snapchat, which maybe isn’t even what kids use anymore.

I know that we can love our children in spite of everything and I know that we can teach them humanity, curiosity and kindness towards others. And I know that we can protect and appreciate all the people who help us teach them humanity, curiosity and kindness towards others, no matter what those people wear.

If drag queen brunch isn’t your thing, you’re welcome to stay out. The drag queens won’t chase you or force you to join her joyous daydream. They’re busy enjoying life, and besides, your frown would probably scare the kids.

If drag queen brunch is your thing, or, just as importantly, if your jam is a world where drag queen brunch is open, available, and safe for anyone who wants to participate, then now is a great time to Appear.

Show up for brunch. Show up to bingo. Show up to counter. Introduce yourself with a letter to the editor or a supportive social media post or a voice of sanity and reason at a dinner party. Go to the polls in November.

Fear and hate are loud and organized right now. I guess they always have been. That doesn’t mean they have to win.

Heidi Stevens is a columnist for the Tribune News Service. You can locate it at heidikstevens@gmail.comfind her on Twitter @heidistevens13 or join her Heidi Stevens’ Balancing Act Facebook group.

RELATED ARTICLES

Technology must allow doctors to be doctors

When my doctor walks into the exam room, I want him to pay attention to me, not the computer. Not only is that...

System outages reported at some public hospitals and health facilities in Singapore

Over the past six weeks, system outages have been reported at some public hospitals and health centers of the National Health Group and the...

Mental health crisis teams are no longer just for cities

Tony Leys and Arielle ZiontsNEWTON, Iowa — Jeff White knows what can happen when 911 dispatchers get a call about someone feeling down or...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Technology must allow doctors to be doctors

When my doctor walks into the exam room, I want him to pay attention to me, not the computer. Not only is that...

System outages reported at some public hospitals and health facilities in Singapore

Over the past six weeks, system outages have been reported at some public hospitals and health centers of the National Health Group and the...

Mental health crisis teams are no longer just for cities

Tony Leys and Arielle ZiontsNEWTON, Iowa — Jeff White knows what can happen when 911 dispatchers get a call about someone feeling down or...

Supreme Court Quiz: How Much Do You Know?

The United States Supreme Court begins a new term on the first Monday in October. This is a landmark term because Ketanji Brown...