Soon school will be out for the summer in most places around the country and you parents will have to find various ways to entertain the little ones. One educational option is always to take them to the library, and what better time than when they’re holding Drag Queen Storytime Hour? If you live in the vicinity of Fall River, Massachusetts, you recently had the opportunity to do just that. The Fall River Public Library hosted another of these events and drew quite the crowd. But not everyone was there to cheer them on. (CBS, Boston)
There were strong words for local drag queens reading stories to children at the Fall River Public Library Saturday afternoon. “We believe that they are indoctrinating systematically our kids into a culture that can be very dangerous,” said Pastor Michael Johnson of the Baptist Temple Church in Fall River.
Sam O’Connor, a mother to 1-year-old Betty, feels different. “It’s no different than going to see a Disney Princess,” O’Connor said. “I just want to raise Betty with tolerance for everyone, no matter what.”
Police stood guard at the library’s first-ever ‘Drag Queen Storytime’ which attracted more than 200 supporters – who faced critics outside.
I’ll confess, I didn’t see the “no different than going to see a Disney Princess” line coming. But maybe that’s just me.
This practice has been cropping up at various places around the country for at least the past couple of years, rarely without controversy. But even those who are very much opposed to it need to realize that there are all sorts of free speech and public accommodation laws in play, so it’s rarely a cut and dried issue.
In many cases, the decision to host one of these events isn’t even left to the hands of the staff or the local government. Many libraries (like this one) have to be open to anyone wishing to use the facility for an event provided they make arrangements in advance and the activity is safe. There’s also the question of whether or not the parents are informed and attending with their children. If that’s something they want their kids to see, I suppose it’s up to them.
A little bit of sensitivity from the other side would go a long way, of course. People need to remember that each family raises children in their own way. Going to see drag queens raises all manner of complicated questions and not all parents are going to be ready to have that discussion with younger children. If that’s the case, they can keep their kids away from the library for the afternoon. The important thing is that the full nature of the event is disclosed.
In the end, is there really any harm in it? Your answer probably depends on your upbringing and background. As far as the kids go, you probably won’t know that for a decade or two. But they will be running into people of different sexualities as they grow up, so don’t write the idea off entirely, I suppose.