The new trend of hosting “drag queen story hour” at children’s libraries has been touted as part of diversification efforts. The practice of librarians bringing drag queens to read to children has come under fire for sexualizing children. Librarians came to the defense of this programming, touting it as innocent and family oriented, but new photographs have emerged to belie that claim, of children obscenely draped over drag queens in a way that would be obviously disgusting if they were female beauty queens.
Such photos taken at a Drag Queen Story Hour event at St. John’s Library in Portland, Oregon circulated on Facebook. Parents complained about the event, showing the photos of children lounging atop of the costumed queens on the floor, grabbing at false breasts, and burying their faces in their bodies.
If the photos are innocent, showing inclusion and queer diversity, then why take them down? Even assuming these story hours were concocted with the best intentions, it seems crazy that librarians could be so blind to the reality that drag, as entertaining and culturally campy as it is for adult audiences, is not sex ed but sex entertainment, and not for kids.