“Perceptions,” by Gerry Warner
Let’s start at first.
Of all of the controversies raging within the hemisphere at this time none rage fairly as outrageously as the difficulty surrounding so-called “drag queen story time” for kids.
The traditional artwork type that may hint its roots to historical Greece and early British vaudeville reveals has crossed the road to mainline “leisure” with reveals being placed on proper right here within the Kootenays – although not in Cranbrook or Kimberley to my data – in addition to many libraries throughout Canada and the US leading to demise threats in some states corresponding to Florida the place would-be presidential candidate and state governor Ron DeSantis referred to as the apply “a disturbing development in society at this time to sexualize these younger folks.”
Drag performers deny they’re “grooming” youngsters for sexual functions. However this didn’t cease Texas state Republican Bryan Slaton final week from proposing a regulation aimed toward defending the state’s children from “perverted adults” after a Dallas bar held a family-friendly occasion entitled “Drag the Youngsters to Satisfaction.”
As everyone knows, leisure developments down south have a method of working their method north and I’m conscious of a minimum of one drag queen story hour for youths held within the Fernie Library final yr and little question there have been others held within the Kootenays which has pressured me to confront my very own views on the incendiary subject.
Of all of the wonders on the earth to be launched to youngsters, why drag? Isn’t drag presupposed to be a classy type of grownup leisure courting all the best way again to Plato’s time? Naïve soul that I’m, I’ve by no means been to a drag present the place males lather on tons of make-up, costume in ladies’s garments and put on skimpy costumes that go away nothing to the creativeness.
Decked out like this, they carry out acts of an unsavory nature and at occasions downright pornographic. Apparently, this “entertains” some folks a lot that some drag queens have grow to be celebrities in their very own proper corresponding to Bianca Del Rio, Violet Chachki and Bob the Drag Queen.
As they are saying, totally different strokes for various of us and in Shakespeare’s time it was widespread for male actors to play ladies’s roles as a result of ladies weren’t allowed on stage.
Actually, drag has historic hyperlinks from these ribald occasions however that doesn’t make it age-appropriate for kids at this time. Absolutely in 2023 we’re an extended well beyond Shakespeare’s time and plunking Mary and Billy into library seats to observe drag queens carry out earlier than their harmless eyes is something however “enlightened?”
Perhaps youngsters drag reveals are much less graphic and all in enjoyable as some dad and mom declare. However in my thoughts, that’s an awfully warped view of “enjoyable.”
And there’s one other aspect to the drag queen subject. Many protesting the loudest are from varied religion communities and their outrage has been met with derision on the a part of the non-religious in what can greatest be described because the extra secular or “woke” crowd. Effectively, I’m not significantly spiritual within the standard method however once I was a younger father serving to to boost my children you might have held a gun to my head and I nonetheless wouldn’t have allowed my youngsters to attend a drag story occasion. What would they get from it? Leisure? I doubt it. Extra possible it will be confusion and probably even concern.
Why expose youngsters to such a jaundiced type of “leisure?” Why give them such a destructive and warped view of the world? That’s the very last thing youngsters want at such a weak age. And albeit I can’t perceive why any loving guardian would need their youngsters to witness drag – a mature type of grownup leisure at greatest – after they may present them the broad kaleidoscope of nice tales present in so many youngsters’s books.
Drag can come later. A lot later.
– Gerry Warner is a retired journalist who as soon as had a drag queen landlord in Kitsilano recognized on stage as Brenda Lee. We obtained alongside famously.