Is drag queen story hour the new normal?

Is drag queen story hour the new normal?
Image via Twitter

“If a man likes to dress in women’s clothes but does not want to be a woman and otherwise lives typically as a male, does he have a psychiatric disorder?”

The above question, exactly as it is worded, is asked on the website of the American Psychiatric Association. It is also answered:

No. Such a desire is called transvestitism and it is not a psychiatric disorder. DSM-5 [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual] does have a diagnosis of Transvestic Disorder that specifically states it “does not apply to all individuals who dress as the opposite sex, even those who do so habitually.” It is only considered a disorder if “cross-dressing or thoughts of cross-dressing are always or often accompanied by sexual excitement.”

Although this classification was intended to appease government agencies that hold the purse strings on scientific grant money, it should still sound an alarm about cross-dressers to the population at large. That is hasn’t is clear in the actions of Rutgers University, which hosted a drag queen during its “LGBTQIA Welcome Week.”

It is also clear from what appears to be a new trend: public libraries inviting drag queens in to read stories about fetishim to toddlers and their enabling parents. Several weeks back we reported one such event held, appropriately enough, in a public library in Long Beach, Calif. named for Michelle Obama. Now it seems to be everywhere. There’s even a Facebook page devoted to it.

Image: via Facebook

Here’s a notice that appeared in September on the website of the Brooklyn Public Library:

The Park Slope Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library is pleased to host the Feminist Press’ presentation of Drag Queen Story Hour!

In the spirit of unfettered exploration of self that great books can prompt, the Feminist Press brings a new reading series for children to the Brooklyn Public Library, featuring classic tales read by drag queens. “Drag Queen Story Hour breaks down our most stifling ideas about gender while lifting up play, fierceness, and femininity for all,” says Jennifer Baumgardner, executive director and publisher of the Feminist Press.

Michelle Tea, curator for Feminist Press’s Amethyst Editions, will introduce this story hour and Lil Miss Hot Mess will share a story from Tatterhood. Lil Miss Hot Mess is a drag queen who has performed at venues ranging from gay bars to universities, SFMOMA to the streets of OccupySF.

Asking three- and four-year-olds if they want to “grow up to be drag queens” is a form of indoctrination. Yet, the parents who attended the event were fine with it. In the video of the reading that follows, one parent even remarks, “That’s what I’m looking for in all of our outings, is to present different ways of being in the world.”

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer and regular contributor to "Liberty Unyielding."


For your convenience, you may leave commments below using Disqus. If Disqus is not appearing for you, please disable AdBlock to leave a comment.