by Louise Perry
Thursday, 9
June 2022
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16:43

Drag Queen Story Hour comes to the UK

An American phenomenon is now becoming firmly embedded in this country
by Louise Perry
Credit: Getty

Do you remember the gentleman christened by Twitter “the rainbow dildo butt monkey”? He made a public appearance at Goodmayes Library in East London in July last year as part of a Drag Queen Story Hour event, dressed in a full technicolour monkey suit featuring fake bare buttocks and a pendulous dildo. His job, apparently, was to teach the children of East London how to read. 

With another summer comes another round of rainbow monkey business. Drag Queen Story Hour is touring the UK, though skipping Goodmayes Library, it seems – probably because the authorities in charge of last year’s event were forced to apologise after the public outcry. 

What was originally an American phenomenon — and one that has ignited considerable controversy — is now becoming firmly embedded in this country. Within walking distance of our home in London, there are several weekly drag events intended for preschoolers.

I will not be incorporating any of them into our son’s playgroup roster. Drag Queen Story Hour UK insists that their intention is to “show the world that being different is not a bad thing” and I have no objection to that. Showing children that gender non-conformity and same sex relationships are good and normal is a worthy lesson, and one that our son is receiving in spades. 

But drag is different, for the simple reason that it has always been a very sexualised form of entertainment, which until just five minutes ago was intended exclusively for adults. 

Photos from American story hour events show that Mr Rainbow Dildo Butt Monkey is not alone in disregarding sexual boundaries. Drag events marketed at children have included strip tease performances, an exposed crotch, and drag queens taking money from little kids in front of a neon sign reading “It’s not gonna lick itself.

The video of this last debacle has been widely shared online, and the parents present look to be delighted with themselves. As are the proponents of so-called “drag pedagogy” who believe that they are championing a righteous cause. 

I doubt that any of the adults clapping like seals at strip shows for kids have any idea of where this kind of boundary breaking might lead – and in fact did lead only a few decades ago. This still recent history has been memory-holed, likely because it shows us so clearly that when you set out to break down sexual taboos, you shouldn’t be surprised when all taboos are considered fair game for breaking, including the ones you’d rather retain.

In my new book, The Case Against the Sexual Revolution, I dredge up this history. On the work of the Paedophile Information Exchange, for instance, and its American counterpart NAMBLA, which enjoyed many celebrity endorsements.  And the 1977 petition to the French parliament calling for the decriminalisation of sex between adults and children that was signed by a long list of famous intellectuals, including Jean-Paul Sartre, Jacques Derrida, Louis Althusser, Roland Barthes, Simone de Beauvoir, Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, and — that esteemed radical and father of Queer Theory — Michel Foucault.

This isn’t the first time that adults have prioritised their own desire for delicious rebellion over the interests of children.

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Nolan Barry
Nolan Barry
5 months ago

I’ll never understand how drag queens aren’t considered both sexist and trans appropriation on the left. The former because they’re overt caricatures of femininity and the latter because they’re a mockery of the sacrosanct trans belief that men can ACTUALLY become women and vice versa. Then again, trying to reconcile all the contradictions inherent in the religion of wokeness is a fool’s errand since confusion is the point.

Last edited 5 months ago by Nolan Barry
John Murray
John Murray
5 months ago
Reply to  Nolan Barry

There actually has been some history of enmity between drag performers and trans for precisely those reasons. If memory serves, Glasgow Pride tried banning drag performers a few years back, but backlash meant that did not take, probably because it is simply too well-established as part of gay male culture. There have certainly also been feminist critiques of drag as “womenface” over the years too, however, gay men ignoring female criticisms is not a heavy lift.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
5 months ago
Reply to  Nolan Barry

Trying to inject logic into leftist narratives is a fool’s errand

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
5 months ago

Do you remember the gentleman christened by Twitter “the rainbow d***o butt monkey”? He made a public appearance Goodmayes Library in East London in July last year as part of a Drag Queen Story Hour event, dressed in a full technicolour monkey suit featuring fake bare buttocks and a pendulous d***o. His job, apparently, was to teach the children of East London how to read.

On what planet is this okay?

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
5 months ago

The asterisks are not mine, they are from WordPress. Apparently, it is not okay to print this word in a discussion forum for grown-ups. But it is fine to walk into a children’s library and show the said item to a bunch of children. Again, this is beyond insane.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
5 months ago

Indeed. Go on YouTube and type “parent reads book to school board” into the search engine, and you will discover that school libraries have been stocked with pornography, presumably by paedophiles.

Paul K
Paul K
5 months ago

‘Showing children that gender non-conformity and same sex relationships are good and normal is a worthy lesson, and one that our son is receiving in spades.’

Are you sure about that? Why exactly does any *child* need to be taught about ‘gender non-conformity’? What even is that, what does it mean, what are the implications, and who is teaching it?

Perhaps if your children are ‘currently receiving this in spades’ it might be a part of the same problem you are complaining about here. It is a very short step from teaching kids ‘gender non-conformity’ to brining in the drag queens, and a very short step from that to sexualising children. Where is it that you think the line should be drawn?

Last edited 5 months ago by Paul K
Lucy Browne
Lucy Browne
5 months ago
Reply to  Paul K

If you don’t know what gender non-conformity is, how can you suggest that it’s part of the same problem as sexualised drag queen sessions for children?

Last edited 5 months ago by Lucy Browne
michael stanwick
michael stanwick
5 months ago
Reply to  Lucy Browne

A pertinent question, although my reading of his comment was that he was asking in absentia Louise Perry. He may have his own idea of that and Perry may have her own idea of what it is.
Anyway, I thought that might be another interpretation of his comment to consider.

Caroline Watson
Caroline Watson
5 months ago
Reply to  Paul K

Children don’t need to be taught ‘gender non-conformity’, they just need to be allowed to practise it. A drag queen is an unpleasant caricature of a misogynistic perception of femaleness. A little boy who wants to dress up in a tutu is just a little boy in a tutu. It is the little boys who are not allowed to wear tutus who grow up to be drag queens and aggressive trans activists.

Stephen Golding
Stephen Golding
5 months ago

boys who are not allowed to wear tutus who grow up to be drag queens and aggressive trans activists.”
Evidence for this claim? It would seem that just as our society has celebrated gay and trans culture, the numbers of people identifying as non-straight has grown exponentially in recent years, often aided by ‘non-judgmental’ parents who affirm and encourage such choices.

Kat L
Kat L
5 months ago
Reply to  Paul K

They opened the floodgates and act surprised when the flood actually comes…

S R
S R
5 months ago

“being different is not a bad thing”… it probably depends on what that difference is exactly!

Alan Girling
Alan Girling
5 months ago
Reply to  S R

I think it’s not a ‘bad thing’ because the real bad thing is discrimination. Nothing is worse than ‘judgment’ or thinking one thing might be better (truer, more moral, more beautiful, edifying etc.) than the other. If you’re not ‘affirming’ everyone’s subjectivity, you’re a bigot.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
5 months ago

“Showing children that gender non-conformity and same sex relationships are good and normal is a worthy lesson, and one that our son is receiving in spades.”
I think that is abuse and has more todo with the author burnishing her self image than the welfare of her son

Last edited 5 months ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
MJ Reid
MJ Reid
5 months ago

Children should be taught that same sex relationships are normal. Many children grow up in families with two mums or two dads, or indeed, in families with two mums and two dads. These families are as normal as a mum and a dad or a mum/dad only. Gender fluidity should be acknowledged but not taught until young people are 16+.
As for the drag queen agenda, there is no place for this in school or children’s libraries or any other place where children go to learn or play. It is an “adult entertainment” and needs to stay in the adult realm.
My friend Dan is a drag queen. As he said to his nephew who saw him in drag, “this is my job. My job is to sing to other gay men in nightclubs. This is not me when I am with you and your cousins.” He knows the boundaries and wishes his fellow drag queens would apply brain when asked to do these gigs.

Vic Dakin
Vic Dakin
4 months ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

The zero votes for you comment is another example of a major issue in discussions these day. As you’ve put it in plain English and taken a reasonable middle-ground, that simply doesn’t compute with lots of people – takes too much thought compared to a quick thumbs-up for one extreme or the other.

Julian Pellatt
Julian Pellatt
5 months ago

We live in an era and a society that has totally lost its moral compass. To subject children to such depravity is beyond obscene; it is profoundly disturbing and fundamentally offensive at a societal as well as a personal level.

Flamenco
Flamenco
5 months ago

”Drag Queen Story Time” aimed at children is just a little bit, uh, Jimmy Saville, really.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
5 months ago

Funny, us Americans keep getting told it does not exist whenever we ask about it.

joe hardy
joe hardy
5 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Us Americans also separate convicted pedophiles in the prison system because they often get murdered by the other inmates. Is that to say that criminals have more morals and respect for taboos than the rest of us?

Al M
Al M
5 months ago
Reply to  joe hardy

It says that they have less to lose!

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
5 months ago

More of my American culture on it’s quest to destroy proper civilizations. While we once deplored DeSade’s exploration of the very human non-conforming vices, we now are in the process of thinking it normal. Do we really want to travel down that road to the logical end?

Jonathan Keats
Jonathan Keats
5 months ago

Why not call it for what it is instead of apologising to the LGBT community that its OK to teach this to kids – Its Plain and simply Evil
As Sarah knapton pointed our in the DT 98% of monkey pox infections have been men who admitted to “Chem and groups with at least 10 men in the month previous to their infection”
if we cannot defend our family communities and values we truly nearing a breakdown in civilised society/”the end of days”

Jon B
Jon B
5 months ago

In Germany, the extreme left eventually got flayed alive by the extreme right (the Nazis), who were let into power as a reaction to the great permissiveness of the Weimar Republic. The latter was a situation not entirely unlike the present.