A Texas drag show for children reminds us of how we should think about acculturation.
Editor's Note: The following article was written by Micah Paul Veillon for The American Conservative. The Liberty Jacket edited the text and added media to conform with this publication's style. The original article can be read here.
“It’s not gonna lick itself,” read the sign under which children danced alongside drag queens at Mr. Misster’s gay nightclub in Dallas, Texas. The Saturday event, titled—quite unpleasantly—“Drag The Kids To Pride,” welcomed parents to the gay bar and invited their children to “hit the stage with the queens.” Disconcerting footage shows grown men dressed in thongs not only performing down a main walkway with parents and children surrounding, but walking directly up to dance in front of them and then proceed to pluck dollar bills from the elementary school children’s outstretched hands.
Fleccas Talks, a YouTube channel with over half a million subscribers, sent a team to film the event and interview some of the performers and hosts, along with some of the spectating adults. Ariel Diamond, one of the performing drag queens, claimed the event “was amazing,” and revealed, “I never get to perform in front of children.”
Why is this something this performer has never done before? Some may answer “because we have had a prejudice against allowing children to be exposed to sexual content and environments.” In fact, one drag queen wondered why parents would not let their children attend events like these, claiming it is hard for kids to grow up in such a “religious and conservative household.” In other words, households where such prejudices would be learned. Perhaps, though, we have that prejudice for a reason. Perhaps it is a beneficial pre-judgment reformed over the millennia and percolated through a tradition.
Yet, many on both the left and the right will still say prejudices hinder freedom of choice, the market of ideas, and toleration, and must therefore be purged from our hearts and minds. One adult in attendance said just as much when asked if the event would encourage kids to partake in drag, claiming, “not if they don’t want to do drag.” His answer suggests children are rational agents, existing in some esoteric stratosphere untouched by the environment around them, from where they are capable of weighing the options and making an informed decision.
But is this even the case for human beings in general? Are we not artifacts of our tangible communities, shaped by language, fostered under a common identity, and forever impressed by the very spirit of those social environments?
The drag queens performing revealed that they indeed believe just this, when they claimed “drag is educational,” that the children are “learning too, they don’t know what’s going on,” and when asked if they think it will encourage kids to do drag, said “I think so… I hope so.”
Since Aristotle, we have known man is a “political animal” who is “born for citizenship,” and that, therefore, children must be shaped by their society’s values before even coming to accept reason for the beautiful thing it is. This is how we live together. Those on the left know this, and thus they attempt to fashion the impressionable animals we are while most impressionable: in youth. They, in fact, attempt to educate them in their prejudices and, quite literally “drag” them to pride, rendering the name of the event quite fitting. Texas lawmakers seem to be aware of this, as they plan to use the next legislative session to protect “kids from drag shows and other inappropriate displays”—to use the teeth of the law to punish vice and, consequently, encourage virtue, and to help raise Texas youth to cultivate moral prejudices. //
Micah Paul Veillon
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