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Protests At Drag Queen Story Hour Continue

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Christopher Rufo at City Journal has an exhaustive breakdown of the history and meaning of the rise in Drag Queen Story Hour.

Drag Queen Story Hour—in which performers in drag read books to kids in libraries, schools, and bookstores—has become a cultural flashpoint. The political Right has denounced these performances as sexual transgressions against children, while the political Left has defended them as an expression of LGBTQ pride. The intellectual debate has even spilled into real-world conflict: right-wing militants affiliated with the Proud Boys and the Three Percenters have staged protests against drag events for children, while their counterparts in the left-wing Antifa movement have responded with offers to serve as a protection force for the drag queens.

Families with children find themselves caught in the middle. Drag Queen Story Hour pitches itself as a family-friendly event to promote reading, tolerance, and inclusion. “In spaces like this,” the organization’s website reads, “kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where everyone can be their authentic selves.” But many parents, even if reluctant to say it publicly, have an instinctual distrust of adult men in women’s clothing dancing and exploring sexual themes with their children.

These concerns are justified. But to mount an effective opposition, one must first understand the sexual politics behind the glitter, sequins, and heels. This requires a working knowledge of an extensive history, from the origin of the first “queen of drag” in the late nineteenth century to the development of academic queer theory, which provides the intellectual foundation for the modern drag-for-kids movement.

The drag queen might appear as a comic figure, but he carries an utterly serious message: the deconstruction of sex, the reconstruction of child sexuality, and the subversion of middle-class family life. The ideology that drives this movement was born in the sex dungeons of San Francisco and incubated in the academy. It is now being transmitted, with official state support, in a number of public libraries and schools across the United States. By excavating the foundations of this ideology and sifting through the literature of its activists, parents and citizens can finally understand the new sexual politics and formulate a strategy for resisting it.

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