Story hour at your local library. A volunteer is reading to children. The volunteer is a man dressed as a woman. I know. I didn't have your attention until that third sentence. Kind of the same way that when the Drag Queen Story Hour began three years ago in San Francisco, you probably didn't hear much about it. San Francisco. Drag Queen. Story Hour. Not really registering. Move that party somewhere like Lafayette, Louisiana, and suddenly there is a fuss worth reporting.
The school board in Lafayette received a petition from a group called Citizens For A New Louisiana, voicing their displeasure with the use of taxpayer funds to promote "sexual deviancy" to three-year-olds. True, three years might be a little early to start impressing sex roles on unsuspecting toddlers, but what if it were a giant rat instead of a man in a dress? Chuck E. Cheese and Mickey Mouse had better check their straight because the "new" Louisiana won't have room for queer role models.
But hold on a minute: These folks are reading to children. I am virtually certain that if a group of uptight white folks volunteered to read the Constitution to pre-schoolers, they would probably not be turned away.
Someone is volunteering to read to kids. Sure, they're showing up in makeup and heels, but they are volunteering to read to kids.
Am I starting to get through here?
Not to the Common Sense Campaign Tea Party, who see something nefarious. "The program is designed to purposely target children so as to make sexual perversion acceptable through repeated exposure." Because of course that should be the focus. Not the fact that parents are bringing their children to a library to hear a story.
Once upon a time, I took my son to our local library to see a guy tell stories with a bunch of puppets. At no point did I worry that my son might grow up to be (gasp) a puppeteer. And if somewhere, down deep inside, it would have made my son happy to stick his hand inside a puppet and use funny voices to release the moose inside him, I would have hoped that it was just a phase, that he would grow out of it.
But if he grew up and volunteered to read to a library full of kids dressed as Pikachu, I couldn't be more proud.