Attacking Drag Queens Will Not Save Your Children

Confronting those who scapegoat the LGBTQ community

Pax Ahimsa Gethen

--

Drag queen Sheena Rose performs at a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot. Photo by Pax Ahimsa Gethen, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Attacks on drag performers in the U.S. are escalating. The LGBTQ community barely had time to mourn the victims of last month’s mass shooting at Club Q when attackers fired on the power grid in Moore County, North Carolina, allegedly (but very likely) to shut down a local drag show. Such sabotage, which plunged over 40,000 people into darkness, is not an act of protest; it is terrorism.

Why are people so afraid of drag queens? These performers — often, but not always, gay men who don hyper-feminine attire — aren’t harming anyone, whether they are lip-syncing to pop tunes at a bar or reading books to children at a library.

But merely by appearing in public spaces, drag queens are accused of “grooming” by those who fear they are corrupting children with their so-called gender ideology. As trans writer Julia Serano explains in her recent blog post, this “stigma-contamination mindset” is not only harmful to the LGBTQ community, but counterproductive:

In addition to defaming the groups in question, these accusations have the unfortunate effect of diluting or weakening legitimate claims of child sexual abuse (CSA). […] While anti-trans/LGBTQ+ campaigners may frame their interventions in terms of “safeguarding children,” they rarely if ever express similar concern over actual cases of grooming and CSA, the overwhelming majority of which are perpetrated by cis-hetero men who are family members or close acquaintances of the child.

Having endured years of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a straight cisgender male relative, I too want cis-hetero parents to stop scapegoating queer and trans folks, when it’s actually the “normal” ones amongst you who are most likely to be harming your children.

Parents, here are some other people who are actually causing harm to you and your children that you could be addressing, instead of hunting down drag queens:

  • Anti-vaxxers, who put their families and everyone they come into contact with at risk of deadly, preventable diseases.
  • The National Rifle Association (NRA) and their supporters, whose response to the increasing number of school shootings is…

--

--

Pax Ahimsa Gethen

Queer agender trans male. Black vegan atheist, pacifist. Pronouns: they/them/their. funcrunch.org, patreon.com/funcrunch