For many Christians and even conservatives who aren’t Christians, one of the most alarming aspects of our rapidly transforming culture is the growing prevalence of drag events. Just a few years ago, drag shows took place in bars and nightclubs; but in recent years they have entered the public square and are often touted as “family friendly,” and frequently are aimed at children, as we see in Drag Queen Story Hours held in public libraries. In reality, nothing about these perverse, debauched, degrading shows is family-friendly. And attempting to normalize them and their participants doesn’t make them okay.
Two weekends ago the LGBTQ+ group The Unity Project hosted a drag event in Watertown, Wisconsin. The event, called Pride in the Park, took place at Riverside Park where the group reserved every pavilion. The event included two drag shows, a children’s story hour, and a children’s dance. This event and similar events intentionally involve and introduce children to sexualized dancing and overt perversion.
The grooming and sexualization of children is in itself horrific, but it should also be pointed out more than it is, that these shows are demeaning to women. In 2015 Mary Cheney, the openly lesbian daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, posted this question on Facebook; “Why is it socially acceptable—as a form of entertainment—for men to put on dresses, makeup and high heels and act out every offensive stereotype of women – but it is not socially acceptable—as a form of entertainment—for a white person to put on blackface and act out offensive stereotypes of African Americans?” She makes a powerful point.
Drag shows reduce women to sexualized stereotypes. Rather than celebrating God’s wonderful design of women as gracious, wise, and nurturing individuals with dignity and value, drag events portray women as sexual objects. And this is how they portray women to children. It is right and natural that women should be offended about drag shows negative portrayal of womanhood. More women need to stand up and push back against this shameful and offensive behavior.
When mainstream media calls me for an interview on this subject, I am quick to tell them that the women I know don’t act like, look like, or dress like these men in drag—and we are rightly offended by this vulgar display.
As drag events become more and more widespread, many Christians feel helpless. But we do not need to give in to despair, even when it appears local government has lost its way on these events, seemingly hiding behind some idea of “freedom of speech,” rather than actively pursuing ways to at least limit these displays to adults by defining obscene and obscenity in ways that protect minors. At a minimum, we need to push hard for some way to keep children away from this overt grooming and sexualization.
Additionally, as LGBTQ+ groups become more and more prevalent in communities, Christians need to brainstorm new ways to engage their communities. Rather than simply bashing what we don’t agree with, we need to find positive ways to form relationships with people and influence our communities for good.
Calvary Baptist Church in Watertown recently found a way to positively impact their community. Last Saturday the church sponsored a Family Storytime in the Community Room at the Watertown Public Library. The event featured stories, books, puppets, prizes, crafts, and more that in a fun way taught and promoted traditional family and Christian values.
I attended the event. At least 40 children were there, most with their parents or another adult relative or friend. The mood was happy and wholesome. The room was filled with laughter and genial conversations among the families attending. Everything done was purposeful, thoughtful, and generous.
This event is a perfect example of a way to bring something positive to a community. Christians often receive criticism for only protesting and complaining. Instead, let’s bring something of value to our community. We can engage constructively with businesses, government officials, neighbors, and more. Rather than normalizing and celebrating grotesquely dressed and made-up men conducting sexual dances in front of children, let’s normalize families coming together to celebrate what is true and good. In an increasingly dark world, let’s not just curse and condemn the darkness, but let’s also let our light shine—brightly—in our community.
This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
(Anna Morken, author. Anna has been a Summer Intern with Wisconsin Family Council.)
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