"Drag queen story time" draws protests in Philly

Last summer we discussed the emerging trend of schools hosting “drag queen story hour” for younger children. A man dressed in drag shows up in the school library and reads “special” children’s books written with themes of inclusiveness geared toward “opening their minds to concepts such as gender fluidity.” As you might well imagine, not all parents were exactly pleased with the program.

The practice hasn’t gone away, however. It popped up again in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, on Saturday and resulted in parents protesting in the streets outside. (CBS Philadelphia)

There was an outcry in Montgomery County after officials allowed a public library to host what they described as “Drag Queen Story Time” for children. Protesters demonstrated outside the Lansdale Library Saturday.

But there were also dozens of supporters, too. There were more counter-protesters than protesters.

Back in November, a Lansdale resident, who is also a drag queen, asked to do story time.

He was given permission, because, according to the American Library Association, if there’s a public space, anyone can use it.

That’s what prompted protesters to clash Saturday.

The key difference between this event and the previous ones we covered is that it took place in a public library. By law, they have to allow anyone to use the space if they wish and schedule it in advance. The drag queen who showed up here did just that and was allowed to put on the event. Unlike a school, where attendance might be mandatory and parents may or may not be informed about it, the only kids who went to this reading either did so on their own or were brought by their parents.

Details as to what the presentation involved a bit sketchier here. The drag queen described the theme as being one of educating children about bullying, diversity, and discrimination. There was no mention of “gender fluidity” in the reporting.

While all of this could certainly be very confusing for children, I really can’t knock the library for following the rules. Similarly, some of the school events didn’t even notify the parents, but it sounds like the parents were bringing their kids voluntarily. If there’s any fallout from it later in life, that’s on the parents, not the school system. And as long as the host isn’t filling the children’s minds with pseudoscience and sticks to real issues of bullying and discrimination, it’s probably not as bad as we might think.