Editor’s note: The opinions expressed here are those of the authors. View more opinion on ScoonTV.
As we kick off “Pride Month,” a slew of drag shows aimed at children have been highlighted in the media. On Monday, viral footage appeared to show a group of children with adults in a bar where a drag queen was dancing to Ariana Grande. According to NBC News, the event themed “Drag Your Kids to Pride,” was held at the Mr. Misster club in Cedar Springs, Texas. It was marketed as a “family-friendly” variation of the club’s regular drag queen brunch events.
The event sparked backlash and outrage from conservatives on social media. Most of the criticism was aimed at the idea of having children attend the shows, not the shows themselves. The backlash is a part of a larger general conversation surrounding drag culture and children.
Throughout schools across this country, teachers and other educational staff have coordinated events (sometimes without parents’ permission) to introduce students to drag queens, engage and interact with them, and even participate in drag shows themselves. The nature in which these things are being done makes them seem even more nefarious. If there was nothing to hide, then the culture would not be enshrouded in secrecy and would be more transparent.
Drag shows for children are simply inappropriate in the same way that taking children to strip clubs or hooters should be socially unacceptable. However, while I may not agree with all aspects of drag, I can see both sides of the argument. The parents who want to take their kids to see these types of shows should be allowed to do so freely, without fear of being legally persecuted.
We may not like it, but that is the way that they decide to raise their children. Would I agree with taking my kids to drag shows even if I was a part of that community? I absolutely would not. I think of it as a social experiment. We will see how each side’s children turn out 10 years from now.
Even if they should be allowed to do it, however, it doesn’t mean they aren’t inappropriate for children. In the shows, the hints of sexual suggestion are often embedded. For example, a performer at a recent drag show for children goes by the name Nicole Jizzington. It should be mentioned that this particular show, and many others, are only allowed to feature these performances because they are private schools.
Other sexual innuendos include the fact that many of the drag performers are also sex workers. The way drag queens take money from the audience during a performance is also similar to scenes in a strip club. They’re also similar to street performers taking money, but still.
Legislators in Florida and Texas are already threatening to crack down on parents who bring their children to these shows. They are aiming to create legislation to stop this like how Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and other Republicans moved to legislate discussing gender ideology in the classroom. DeSantis also chimed in on the kids at drag shows controversy.
“Targeting these kids with all this stuff, you know, it used to be kids would be off-limits,” DeSantis said. “It used to be everybody agreed with that, and now it just seems like there’s a concerted effort to be exposing kids.”
Representative Bryan Slaton of Texas said on Monday that he will introduce legislation prohibiting children from attending drag shows. Rep. Anthony Sabatini said he is proposing legislation to charge parents with a felony and terminate the parental rights of any adult who brings a child to a drag show in Florida.
Last Saturday’s “Pride on the Block: Drag Show for Kids” event in downtown West Palm Beach prompted his statement. “Adults can do what they want, but children should not be going into these shows,” Sabatini told WPTV’s Josh Navarro during a Zoom interview.
Although I do not believe taking such dramatic steps will do anything productive if the goal is to get people to stop sexualizing children, I understand the politician’s line of thinking. Criminalize a degenerate behavior in hopes that said behavior stops. However, I don’t foresee that going well in the future. The people demented enough to take their children to drag shows will simply find other ways to sexualize their children.
It was always going to come to this. Just like with any hot button issue, if people continued to press and advance beyond their original cause, the pendulum would swing back. The original demand from the LGBTQ+ community was acceptance and tolerance. They have since moved the goalposts of what we are supposed to accept as a society.
Any event that involves children should be held up under a microscope of scrutiny. If the LGBTQ+ community would have let kids’ sexuality remain neutral, none of this backlash would be happening. They could not leave well enough alone, and now they are feeling the wrath of many frustrated Americans who otherwise would have been allies.
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