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A new NBC News opinion column written by a drag queen insisted that drag queen story hour, where drag queens read to kids in a public space, “echoes many of the most effective learning practices for kids,” and that attempts to protect kids from these events are a “nightmare” and an attack “on freedom of expression.”
In a column titled, “Drag Queens won’t be cowed by haters. The story hour goes on,” Drag queen story hour performer and children’s author “Lil Miss Hot Mess” wrote, “I am disturbed by the recent mainstreaming of overtly anti -LGBTQ and racist discourse, especially attacks on trans kids, attempts to falsely discredit queer people as ‘groomers’ and efforts to ban books with diverse themes.”
Lil Miss Hot Mess recounted the “terrifying and terrorizing” time when the protesters, allegedly linked to the Proud Boys, showed up to a drag queen story hour to speak out against the event.
The author accused the protestors of “traumatizing the very children that vigilantes claim to protect.”
She then provided an earned defense of teaching drag culture to children, writing about how it is a wonderful form of play, free expression and imagination. “But drag performance is an especially powerful and joyful antidote to such attacks. Drag activates creativity and play, expanding traditional ways of thinking. Drag offers a textbook example of imagination: transforming society by making a new image of and ourselves around us, she wrote.
The drag queen columnist slammed the “relentless” and “personal” attacks of lawmakers who have claimed that “drag queens sexualize children.” Hot Mess wrote, “Recently, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida issued an inflammatory statement about a canceled drag story event in which he attacked me, parroting dangerous rhetoric suggesting that drag queens sexualize children.”
The author also mentioned lawmakers who have claimed they will take legal action against those exposing children to drag queens. “Republican Texas state Rep. Bryan Slaton absurdly vowed to introduce legislation banning drag shows for children. Shortly thereafter, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, the Republican Arizona state senators and Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia suggested they might follow suit. “
She wrote, “book bans and attempts to shut down story hours are a unique nightmare: They are an attack not only on freedom of expression but on imagination. Imagination is powerful because it enables us to identify the status quo as a fiction that can be rewritten.”
Hot Mess defended drag not only to teach how to “challenge gender stereotypes and celebrate diverse LGBTQ leaders and histories,” but as “a creative portal to a new world; through drag we’re able to see those elements of society that are a hot mess and find the courage and creativity to change them.”
The author also claimed that drag “echoes many of the most effective learning practices, according to prominent schools of educational theory”
Some lawmakers have praised the idea of drag queens being part of children’s education. During a civil rights conference in Lansing Michigan last week, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel claimed, “Drag queens make everything better. Drag queens are fun,” and added that there should be a “A drag queen for every school.”
Returning more fire at people opposed to this, she wrote, “anti-LGBTQ leaders falsely claim that we’re indoctrinating children and spreading misinformation, suggesting we’re trying to convert kids to be queer or trans. Bless their clueless hearts.”
“In a moment in which authoritarianism and white nationalism are on the rise, what they apparently fear the most is that we’re activating children’s imaginations,” Lil Miss Hot Mess added.