It’s not so much that the Washington Post is running feel-good stories these days about drag queens appearing at libraries.
That’s a valid story and many readers would be interested. The problem is that the opponents of this trend are drawn in such stark, dramatic negativity. And, yes, religion is in the mix there.
The Post’s recent story about drag queens doing the story hours for children in a Detroit suburb is drawn in predictable lines. The pro folks are described in colorful adjectives and attractive personalities who come with “lots of hugs.” The librarian comes with “a thoughtful air, nose ring and cat-eye glasses.” What’s not to like?
The dreaded antis are colorless people with signs and no disarming descriptions. Even the hapless city commissioner who was forced out of office for being against the drag queens didn’t get much sympathy.
I happen to like this quote from the Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber about every church needing at least one drag queen, but the issues with a public library are different. The story starts here:
HUNTINGTON WOODS, Mich. — The last time drag queens came to the public library here, two dozen children and their parents crowded into a cozy room to enjoy holiday stories. Jessica J’Adore — decked out in a curly red wig, a shiny green cocktail dress and elaborate makeup — read “The Night Before Christmas,” while another costumed queen offered up a lively Hanukkah rhyming book. One little boy gave a pipe-cleaner bracelet to his favorite performer.
“There were a lot of hugs,” librarian Joyce Krom said. “Kids love holidays, and they’re just very excited. It was a lot of fun.”
It was also the latest flash point in what’s become a noxious national controversy. Variations of Drag Queen Story Hour — which aims to teach children gender diversity and acceptance — have been sprouting nationwide in libraries large and small. But their popularity has provoked an increasingly fierce backlash from conservative religious groups, with Huntington Woods the latest target.
Who could be against “gender diversity and acceptance?”
Four paragraphs down, we’re told there’s an anti-campaign “stoked by outsiders.” Way further down, we hear of the (local) city commissioner who opposed the drag queens. Would the reporter have mentioned outside help had the demonstrators been from Planned Parenthood or organizers from the national Women’s March?
Then we get a dissenting point of view.