This article was published on January 18th, 2023
Drag Queen Story Hour is an amazing program that has been quite the topic of discussion lately. At its core, DQSH is a program geared towards children to help encourage positive growth in acceptance, imagination, creativity, and identity. It’s a fun, exciting, and engaging way to get kids interested in reading, improve literacy, and provide positive role models in the LGBTQ+ community.
However, like many things involving this community, conservatives don’t like it very much and have been protesting the events. They make outlandish claims that they are “grooming and indoctrinating” children when that couldn’t be farther from the truth. There’s something ironic about a group of hateful people threatening the lives of not only drag performers but the LGBTQ+ community, all while shouting hateful and threatening messages in front of the very children they want to “protect.”
It truly doesn’t make sense when many of the people pushing this rhetoric are members of religious organizations. Children are indoctrinated into the church at a very young age, often since birth. Not to mention there’s the topic of church officials grooming and abusing children themselves.
They argue that these Drag Queen Story Hours are “inappropriate” for children. In what way? The queens dress in bright and colorful costumes and read books that are appropriate for their ages. Not to mention that parents and employees supervise these events as well. This is far from a night at the local gay bar. No cocktails here. These are events intended for young children, and the content of these shows reflects that. It’s the same as a cis woman dressing up as a princess to read fairy tales about romance, danger, and kissing. But because of the community that’s putting on these events, there is a moral high horse that some people refuse to come down from.
There is nothing sexual about these shows in the slightest, and honestly, the argument is downright ridiculous. Perhaps if these protesters were willing to sit down and watch these events without interfering, they would realize how wrong they were. It’s all well and good to consider, but the truth is that these conservatives have a narrative that they want to push. They will say whatever they can to try and scare other parents into believing the LGBTQ+ community is full of predators yet refuse to take a look at their own people and authority figures.
The single most important goal of these events is to bring children together and promote literacy, acceptance, friendship, creativity, celebrating the beauty in our differences, and so much more! Right on the front page of DragStoryHour.org, it reads; “DSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models.”
Kids love to play dress up. It transcends gender identity, because until they are told otherwise, they don’t have a very high concept of gender. Sometimes a boy just wants to wear a princess dress because that’s from his favorite movie. He won’t even consider his gender until someone else tells him that boys cannot wear dresses. Drag Queen Story Hour is a fun and amazing event. The queens are sparkly, colorful, and exciting to look at. Their buoyant and approachable personalities make them perfect hosts for telling stories and sharing fun and exciting experiences.
Have you had a chance to attend a Drag Story Hour? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.