By Phoebe Terry
In the past few months, drag has been the issue du jour, with conservative politicians and commentators railing against the art on the basis of protecting children. These lawmakers and members of the conservative machine don’t care about your children, they don’t care about drag queens and they don’t care about you. They just hate queer people.
The main argument seems to be that drag is inherently sexual and therefore unfit to be viewed by anyone underage because of the fact that men dress up as women to perform. Cross dressing is neither exclusive to drag nor a recent phenomenon. It has roots in theatre and folk customs when women were banned from performing in public. Modern drag was born out of the oppression of queer people at a time when cross dressing was a crime and expressing anything but masculinity would label you as an anti-social degenerate. It still has its rough edges, and it can be sexual, but drag queens and to a larger extent, trans women, are not in it to be predators. Drag queens are practicing an art and trans women simply want to exist in the way they’re most comfortable.
Additionally, while many drag shows are all ages that doesn’t mean the primary audience for drag is children, many performers are not even interested in performing for children at all. Drag events for children, most commonly in the form of drag story hour which involves a drag performer reading a story to children and the events are usually focused on kids of queer families or teach about some kind of acceptance and self love. Some people view drag story hours as grooming or indoctrinating children into transgenderism, but living in a heterosexual world has never made a queer person less queer. Seeing different ways of life and different types of people as a kid does tend to make for kinder and more accepting adults, however.
Of course, it was never really about drag. Drag is just the most recent and convenient issue to whip up the public into a frenzy, preying on the fear of the unknown of millions of parents who just want the best for their children. What the lawmakers and commentators want is for queer people, all queer people, to be eradicated. Micheal Knowles, a political commentator for “The Daily Wire,” an online conservative media company with a little over 3 million subscribers on YouTube, spoke about trans people at the Conservative Political Action Conference (saying that “If [transgenderism] is false, then for the good of society, transgenderism must be eradicated from public life entirely – the whole preposterous ideology.” Calling for the eradication of transgenderism is nothing short of genocidal. Knowles has claimed that he was not calling for the systematic removal of trans people and so he claims calling his rhetoric genocidal is libelous, but it is impossible to separate trans people from transness and therefore impossible to rid society of transgenderism without ridding society of all trans people.
As an openly trans women, all I want is to be seen as a human. I am someone’s daughter, I’m an artist, I’m going to school to tell the beautiful stories of other humans, I am a woman and I am a person. My transness does define me, but my identity transcends my gender. Every transgender person is a person, with passions, dreams and feelings. It’s easy to get caught up in the narrative that the faceless mob of transgenderism is coming to corrupt the youth of America into their volatile ideology, but take a second to remember the humanity of queer people. We all just want to spend our short time in this world as comfortable as possible.
By Cinthia Mapula
On April 5, the Texas Senate passed two bills restricting children from what types of drag performances they can attend. This controversial topic came about after complaints came in after photos and video show a drag queen performing in little to no clothing in front of children at a public event. I believe they made a good decision by passing these bills.
Children should not be exposed to these types of shows at such a young age. The Texas Senate categorizes one of the bills under “sexual oriented performances.” This is not to say these drag show performers aren’t talented, but it is focusing on whether it’s appropriate for children to view these shows.
A Drag Queen named “Kitty Demure” made a public statement agreeing that children should not be allowed at drag shows. “I think it’s using drag as a transition or gateway to trans kids to make them think it’s fun, pretty, magical, fantastical and I just think Big Pharma corporations they’re pushing it and honestly I think it’s just to make more money for Big Pharma,” Demure said during an interview with Jesse Waters on Fox News in October 2022.
Even a member of the drag community believes children do not belong at their shows. Children have young and impressionable minds; they can’t fully process what they are seeing. These types of images can be damaging to the development of some children. Studies show how trauma enters the body at a young age and often affects us later as adults. People like to say “children are very resilient” and I disagree. I believe children truly don’t feel the pain of their trauma until they grow up and realize what really happened.
As a nation, it’s our responsibility to protect the minds of our children because they will be in charge in a few decades, we need healthy and educated minds. Childhood is a short-lived experience, let them enjoy this precious limited time. There’s plenty of time to explore once they are adults.
In a world where so many things are out of our control, let’s take control where we can – by protecting our children from seeing images intended for adults only.
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