Have you heard of Drag Queen Story Hour? It’s all the rage across the country. Drag performers—almost always homosexual men dressing and acting as women in overtly sexualized ways—descend on local public libraries to read stories to young preschoolers, all with the stated goal of “defying rigid gender distinctions” and giving young tots “unabashedly queer role models.”
Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) became commonplace in public libraries when it received the imprimatur of the American Library Association (ALA) a few years back. In fact, the ALA even offers workshops to help public librarians “learn best practices for setting up Drag Queen Story Hours in their locations” and “be prepared with strategies and language to explain and, if necessary, defend groundbreaking and potentially controversial programming.”
Although DQSH has yet to claw its way into Idaho public library buildings, the Boise Public Library did cosponsor a Drag Queen Story Hour event at Crazy Neighbor, a boutique costume shop in Boise, back in 2017. The event was billed as “fun for the whole family.” Uh-huh.
Notably, the drag performance craze has now reached local politicking here in Idaho. Three Moscow City Council candidates recently attended an event, “Drag the Vote,” which featured a candidate forum with some drag performances for entertainment. Call me old-fashioned, but I just don’t see why a candidate forum and a drag show go together.
The “Drag the Vote” Facebook event page was organized by the campaign for Sandra Kelly, one of the Moscow City Council candidates. Maureen Laflin and Incumbent Councilor Anne Zabala also participated in the candidate forum. Clearly, these progressive candidates think associating their campaigns with drag shows is a political opportunity instead of a political liability.
It wasn’t too long ago that doing drag was something reserved for seedy night clubs. One thing I hope we all can still agree on is that drag performances have no place in either public libraries or at candidate forums.
All of this would have been unthinkable just a decade ago. We must stand up and speak loudly against this normalization of adult entertainment at community events. Let’s make it clear: Drag Queen Story Hour and “Drag the Vote” have no place here in Idaho.