Drag Queen Story Hour: Who is it for?
Drag queens reading or performing to children have been in the news of late, following numerous cases of shocking and inappropriate behaviour. This has led to a backlash, and a backlash against the backlash. Some US Democrat lawmakers—like New York mayor Eric Adams or California senator Scott Wiener— feel the problem is that there are not enough men who mock women via grotesque impersonation involved in educating children.
But what’s slipped a bit under the radar amid these revelations is the number of men who dress up as sexual parodies of women in order to read to, or perform in front of, children, who have been arrested for child sexual abuse offences. Until now.
On June 23 it was revealed that Brice Patric Ryschon Williams, who uses the drag name ‘Anastasia Diamond’, had been charged with 43 criminal counts, 25 of which were related to child pornography.
Williams has participated in several drag events, including GLO Harrisburg, which bills itself as a “safe space for LGBTQ youth”, and the Pride Festival of Central Pennsylvania, where he danced in front of children.
He was only caught after investigators found the name ‘Ana D,’ a shortened version of his drag name, on a Dropbox account that contained child sexual abuse material.
He is at least the seventh man who is either a drag queen or a sponsor of drag queens to be arrested for paedophilia offences in recent years.
In 2019 an organisation called Houston MassResistance investigated the small number of drag queens who were reading to children in public libraries - and found that two of them were convicted child sex offenders.
One of them, William Travis Dees, a former transgender prostitute, served as a ‘greeter’ for young children as they came into the library, even though he had been convicted of sex crimes against four children (aged 4, 5, 6 and 8) and is listed as a “high-risk sex offender.”
This revelation came after Houston city officials had already apologised after it emerged that Alberto Garza, one of the drag queens who had read to children and goes by the name ‘Tatiana Mala-Niña’, has a conviction for sexually assaulting an 8-year-old boy.
Last year, Brett Blomme, the president and CEO of the Cream City Foundation, which operates the Milwaukee Drag Queen Story Hour for local children, was arrested and charged with possessing child pornography depicting the sexual abuse of underage boys, including toddlers. He was later sentenced to nine years in prison.
Interestingly, various ‘fact checkers’ that claim that “anti-LGBTQ rhetoric in recent months has targeted drag storytimes” have stated that Blomme wasn’t involved in drag queen story hour, as the Cream City Foundation only funded Drag Queen Story Hour and ensured it could receive donations, but didn’t actually run the show.
In 2018 British Airways hired two drag queens to represent the national airline at Brighton Pride on a float that toured the seaside city. One of them, Darren Sewell, aka ‘Crystal Couture’, was convicted of four counts of rape of a boy under 16 in 1999 and broke a court order banning him from contact with children in 2011.
Sewell’s website stated he performs for people “of all ages”, and had also been employed by Cardiff Pride earlier that year.
In 2013 Robert Clothier, drag name ‘Lady James’, was jailed after being caught in a police sting operation. He thought he was meeting a man and the two of them were to rape the other man’s two children, a boy of 8 and an 11-year-old girl.
When arrested, he was carrying chocolate-flavoured glow-in-the-dark condoms, girl’s underwear, Easter eggs, heart-shaped hairbands and a Lego toy.
One of the most shocking stories of them all is Kristian Churchill, aka Krystle Caress, who was reported for inappropriate relationships with boys under 16. He was so angry with this that he tried to kill two women by driving into them. Both women survived, but suffered horrific life-altering injuries.
We know that drag acts are behaving hypersexually in front of children, that many women find them offensive, and that drag remains a contentious issue even among LGB people, but one thing that remains unclear is exactly who benefits from this odd meeting of adult cabaret performers and toddlers. What do very young children gain from exposure to these grotesque parodies of womanhood, with names like ‘Molest A. Child’ or ‘Flow Job’?
The answer is: nothing.
There is one group and one group only that stands to benefit from this disturbing, fashionable trend in education.
They did this in Scotland and had a number of complaints from parents, countered with accusations of "small-mindedness" - Frankie Boyle was particularly vocal in criticising those who objected to it. Then a story appeared on twitter detailing one of the above cases, the "small-minded" accusations stopped and Boyle et al suddenly had no opinions on the matter. How curious.
As you say; who benefits from this? It's always marketed as if it's some important element in a child's development. Because books and reading aren't important enough in their own right, and they simply must be read aloud by a creepy bloke with zero background in education but who's squeezed into a pair of women's knickers.
I complained to my local library service about Drag queen story hour and they couldn't see the issue even though I said it was an adult sexualised act. I complain every time they book them. They said it helped LGBT inclusively. They just can't see the issue, even though I asked would they have a GIMP telling stories.....I also complained to Taunton library who had a special day with LGBT History. They completely dismissed me saying the act was not inappropriate. They turned down a Lesbian who approached them to do something for the day - saying no thanks they had the Drag Act. The lesbian was going to dress up as a WW1 nurse and tell people about the Lesbian women from Taunton who were front line nurses in WW1.....you couldn't make it up!!! She went anyway, and went around the town. 👌