Updated: Oct 19, 2019
Drag Queen Story Hour has spread like wildfire across the US. I wondered who is behind it, and what was the American Library's involvement. Here is some of what I found:
The Public Library Association, a division of the American Library Association, are holding three regional symposiums this year headed up by a team of trainers boasting histories in social justice education. A prerequisite to attending a symposium is to attend an on-demand webinar entitled "Understanding Power, Identity, and Oppression in the Public Library"; and to download and review the Government Alliance on Race and Equity Report, Advancing Racial Equity in Public Libraries: Case Studies from the Field. The ALA expresses the hope that all libraries will adopt and expand the GARE framework for INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE. GARE aims to transform government, strengthen community partnerships, and eliminate racial disparities.
In 2018, ALA's Executive Board voted to affirm the application of a social justice framework to the ALA Strategic Directions for the next three-to-five years and are building on the 2019 President's program about "White Fragility". Robin Di'Angelo, who coined the phrase, states that white peoples' "weaponized hurt feelings is a form of bullying and dominance that allows them to maintain racial control". Sounds exactly like the Islamophobia campaign. It's fake. It gets worse from there as Robin states that "Librarians play such a critical role in antiracism work".
DiAngelo also goes on to say that librarians should, now that they themselves have an expanded awareness, promote the work that will expand others' awareness. In other words, become social justice warriors to indoctrinate the public in the new reform agenda. So here is an example of what that type of power situation breeds:
The ALA appears to be going full blown socialist/marxist in its "collective capacity", "shared language", and other such terms pointing towards developing new identities for the attendees. Participants will at the end of the training event have a shared understanding of equity, diversity, inclusion and social justice (EDISJ) including identity and privilege, institutionalized racism and oppression, solidarity, and liberation. Persons encouraged to attend are "event organizers having no previous knowledge of these topics". " Persons will learn how to create and sustain transformative work in the library and the community, develop strategies to address biases and plans for strengthening EDISJ in the community". Large numbers of existing staff are discouraged from attending. However, the actual newbie library participants are encouraged to invite "community partners".
One substantial avenue of exploration for the library system is the inclusion of Radar Productions' Drag Queen Story Hour. I wrote on DQSH extensively highlighting the work of Mass Resistance for uncovering convicted sex offenders who infiltrated the Montrose Library in Houston. See those articles in this blog. The Houston story and Mass Resistance received national media attention and sparked many other watch groups to protest DQSH in their areas.
DRAG QUEEN STORY HOUR
Teaching Kids About Gender Fluidity at Ages 3-8
The Drag Queen Story Hour global campaign was birthed by San Francisco group Radar Productions. The events are designed for children ages 3-8 to encourage the freedom of expression without constraints of prescribed gender roles. Radar boasts three testimonials on how first graders are learning that "there are no boy or girl things", and how "preschoolers deepen and complicate their ideas about gender at the exact age when they are often developing rigid ideas about this concept". The meaning of the preceding sentence completely escapes me.
Radar's website offers some information on how to organize your own DQSH. Many queens are also adult club workers, which is perfectly okay with Radar Productions who offer website guidance on how to do family friendly shows. Radar proves to hand off responsibility to the individuals in drag and the venues. Radar does not offer vetting but simply warns interested queens that they may have to undergo a standard background check for their location. Background checks are left up to the expense of the local host and as previously reported by this author, the LIBRARIES ARE NOT VETTING. Radar hands the responsibility off again to the local venues regarding backlash stating that everyone should just work together to ensure a safe and fun event, and then simply provides an email to contact if additional support is needed.
Nurturing bleeding heart women all over the US are dragging their 3-8 year olds off to see the queens to expose them to diversity, and to teach them that playing dress up is an expression of gender fluidity. Average citizens seem to revere queens as a saintly group and if you vocalize against them, well, you are a bigot and a homophobe. It does not seem to occur to the bored to death moms, or many of the oblivious knee jerk supporters in general, that drag queens are human beings. Do the drag queens represent the gay community at large, or are they merely representing themselves as sexually explicit adult performers? The fact is, they are individuals. Individuals that can be felons, drug addicts, victims of neglect and child abuse, sexual deviants and abusers themselves, predators, convicted pedophiles and otherwise sex offenders.
Not all drag queens appearing at the US libraries as readers and/or support groupies loitering about are as high end and professional as the ones shown on Radar's website. Far from it. Some of the Austin talent pool available to read to your children for a family friendly show:
Some of the reading queens express that this is a campaign designed to "build an army of the next generation sensitive to the violence against gays and gay issues". Sounds fair enough. However, where do pedophiles go? They go to where the children are. This also is seen as a campaign to redsign the family unit. Therein lies the objectionable and volitile boundary issues of what is acceptable and appropriate for children.
So here is a question this author asked the news media recently in the form of a second grade story problem. Ahem. So, if all drag queens are saints, and all gays are not pedophiles, then who's raping all the kids? The queens will tell you it's the old Catholic white men, and what about that? Hmmm, enter the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the drag group that parody the Catholic papacy.
THE TEXAS PROGRESSIVE PASTOR, RYAN HART
Open Cathedral in Leander, Texas is headed up by Ryan Hart who holds services every Sunday at a local elementary school. When the Leander Library canceled DQSH on June 15th due to some of that backlash, Ryan stepped in and rented a room in the Library and hosted the event himself.
Ryan's congregants fit right in with the Social Justice Public Library system's idea of inclusiveness and diversity. Open Cathedral welcomes everyone and specifically encourages the LGBTQ community.
Ryan states that no matter who you are, how you identify or what you believe, you are welcome. Ryan's promotion for DQSH for his church received so much backlash from the public and Mass Resistance, he put out a statement that Queen Valeri Jinxy (above) who was set to read inside the Leander Public Library, had another work engagement and would not be performing. Jinxy, who had received local news attention for her anticipated participation, responded that it was a complete LIE and that Ryan had failed to return any of he/she's (gotta get those pronouns right) calls or emails.
Numerous media articles, radio, and Facebook dialog emerged with heated discussion on both sides. In response, the Leander Library decided to close the public library to the tax paying public to bend over to the desires of the small special interest group. However, no queens read inside the Leander Library on June 15th, 2019, to any children. Hart deemed the event "Leander Family Pride". Three queens dressed in drag remained outside. They were not representative of the high end and well dressed talent as marketed on the Radar website. The crowd also included members of Antifa and local gay parents who brought their children out and subjected them to the opposing crowds. Also in attendance was an amplified preacher from Atlanta who proceeded to discuss the graphic and sinful nature of sodomy and how "penises did not belong in buttholes". A large Leander police presence gracefully and fairly maintained control of the noise demonstrators and the opposing sides. People opposing the event came from all over the Austin area to support Mass Resistance and stand against the sexualization of children in the public library.
The American Library Association has put out Libraries Respond to DQSH which pushes the responsibility again onto the local level and offers links directly to Radar Productions. ALA offers several Toolkits and Best Practices resource links, policies, blog posts on DQSH, and recommended books on LGBTQ issues. The library training symposium topics discuss combating bias in order to serve their social justice program and offer training in how to respond to protestors. All resources listed on the site support the movement education as a part of their diversity and inclusive EDISJ agenda.
What is obviously lacking is even a single source link containing information on the downside to the drag queen explicit adult entertainer lifestyle, nor any support for those who suffer or have suffered from being sexualized as a child. There are no scientific studies, no medical articles on gender fluidity being comprehended by young children, nothing. This is the agenda of the "INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE"!
Well folks, what happened to just going to the library to get a book? It would appear to this author that this is another one of our institutions that bites the dust. We have lost the Boy Scouts, and we almost lost the NFL. The Social Justice Public Library system is happening right under our noses and swiftly. If you don't agree with it, you are a bigot. I will miss the library I once knew as it becomes an indoctrination clinic for the malleable-minded with librarians taking social justice warrior training. I cannot wait to see what lands as recommended reading on the front lobby shelves.