AMAC Exclusive – By B.C. Brutus
As concerns mount over so-called “family friendly” drag shows and the sexualization of children, AARP’s history of promoting such events is coming under increased scrutiny.
In May 2021, just as the cultural left began their effort to rebrand drag performances as kid-friendly, AARP published an article encouraging “drag queen story hour” as a way for “the whole family” to celebrate “Pride Month.”
The article specifically mentions the “beloved Drag Queen Story Hour NYC,” which “brings drag performers to read stories to children in libraries, schools, bookstores, museums and more, with virtual livestreams opening up the experience to anyone who wants to tune in.”
Four months later, AARP published another article entitled “The 9 Most Fabulous TV Shows and Movies About Drag Queens,” noting that “these aren’t just movies and shows that use cross-dressing as a plot device – these works truly celebrate the art of drag in all its gender-subverting, over-the-top, glamorous glory.”
As more and more viral videos emerge showing young kids at sexually explicit drag performances, AARP’s repeated promotion of drag shows in general and “family friendly” drag events specifically looks increasingly dangerous and irresponsible.
For example, while it is unclear if the events promoted by AARP allowed or encouraged children to attend, one clip from an “all ages drag brunch” in Texas last October shows a drag queen lifting her skirt and gyrating in front of a small girl who clearly looks uncomfortable. A video from another Texas “all ages” drag show in January shows a small boy hiding his face in shame as a man in a thong performs on stage. In Florida, an ostensibly Christian church hosted a drag event for kids last May.
Even worse, kids aren’t just being exposed to drag – they’re also participating in it. In one example posted by the Twitter account “Libs of TikTok” last August, an adult drag performer teaches a young girl to perform drag as adult men throw money at her. A similar incident occurred in Florida last December.
As far back as 2019, a bar in Ohio was sparking outrage for allowing a 9-year-old boy to dress in revealing clothing and simulate sexual activity in front of adults. According to the Dayton Daily News, the boy first became interested in drag after watching the reality show “RuPaul’s Drag Race” – one of the “9 Most Fabulous TV Shows and Movies About Drag Queens” that AARP recommends.
The left’s attempt to normalize drag performances for children began in large part with the “drag queen story hours” that AARP suggests as a good way for families to celebrate Pride Month.
While liberals insisted that such events were a harmless way to teach “tolerance” and “inclusion” to children, the Manhattan Institute’s Chris Rufo outlined the much darker history behind the practice in a piece for City Journal Magazine last October. “The drag queen might appear as a comic figure, but he carries an utterly serious message: the deconstruction of sex, the reconstruction of child sexuality, and the subversion of middle-class family life,” Rufo writes.
As Rufo describes, although drag traces its origins to the 19th century, it was only with the development of postmodernism and “Queer Theory” in the latter half of the 20th century that it became less about rebelling against society and more about social engineering: “As the dark side of drag pushed transgression to the limits, however, some drag queens toned down the routines, pushed the ideology deep into the background, and presented drag as good old-fashioned, glamorous American fun.”
From there, it was only a matter of time before “enterprising queer theorists used the commercialization of drag and the goodwill associated with the gay and lesbian rights movement as a means of transforming drag performances into ‘family friendly’ events that could transmit a simplified version of queer theory to children” – drag queen story hours.
As conservatives raised opposition to drag story time for kids, liberal activists, Democrat politicians, and the mainstream media labeled those concerns “bigoted” and “transphobic,” insisting that grown men reading to children in burlesque couldn’t possibly have any far-reaching negative societal implications or be considered “grooming.”
Now, drag queens aren’t just reading to kids, they’re performing specifically for them, and even openly recruiting them to become drag performers as well – all the culmination of a slippery slope made all the more slick by leftist organizations like AARP treating inherently sexual behavior as innocent, family friendly fun.
B.C. Brutus is the pen name of a writer with experience in the executive and legislative branches of government.