Letter: What is going on in our public libraries?

Drag Queens mock women. They are hyper-sexualized caricatures and exaggerations-wearing garish make-up and clothing that emphasizes their private parts.  Women - we are surely more than this.  

AP Photo_Mary Altaffer

We have questions. 

What is going on in our public libraries?

Thirteen more “Stories Together with Drag Performers” also known as Drag Queen Story Hours are scheduled in Hennepin County libraries through November. They are billed as suitable for “families, preschoolers and toddlers.” 

In the age of #MeToo, skyrocketing student/student and adult/student sexual assault and growing efforts to normalize pedophilia, WHY are local libraries allowing grown men involved in the adult entertainment industry access to little children?

According to their own literature, celebrating “self-expression, dress up, and gender fluidity … “will be a safe, positive, and encouraging space for children.”

We beg to differ.

According to Christy Mulligan- Coordinator for Diversity, Inclusion, Social Justice, Racial and Equity Work for Hennepin County Libraries none of the drag performers receive a formal background check. None.  Instead “HCL staff build relationships with community partners in a thoughtful and careful way.” 

Take Gemini Valentine who read to toddlers at the Hopkins Library on Saturday, October 3. Gemini recently placed third in the “Drag Me To Hell” lip sync challenge after stripping down to a tutu of black tulle which he eventually tore off piece by piece.  

Miss Richfield 1981 read to toddlers last week. Miss Richfield is Russ King and has a personal webpage where he is frequently spread eagled, mocking Christianity and often with partially naked or naked men. 

In Texas, parent groups discovered too late that two drag queens reading to children were convicted sex offenders.  Another east coast event hosted Stormy Vain who operates numerous “nude” services for hire.  

Mulligan said the story times include “high quality literature.”  Apparently, all of it must have been checked out because Gemini read only LGBTQ books for kids.  The book table in the room displayed only LBGTQ themed books as well.  

Hopkins had police and uniformed security there to remove people who disagreed with the story time.  One woman was escorted out after someone overheard her stating “beliefs” inconsistent with the event.  Considering a breakout session at the 2019 American Library Association Conference taught librarians to “expect” and how to “manage” this kind of “pushback” on “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts”-it appears they were ready. 

And why do we hear nothing from the feminists?  Drag Queens mock women. They are hyper-sexualized caricatures and exaggerations-wearing garish make-up and clothing that emphasizes their private parts.  Women – we are surely more than this.  

And WHO are these events for anyway? Most of the Hopkins kids were not looking at Gemini – being distracted by coloring or snacks.  But some kids were clearly troubled. One little boy kept moving away from the front row until he was back against the wall reading a book by himself. When it was over, many kids were literally cringing and pulling away as their parents placed them on the lap of this strange and creepy, she/he man for a photo.  Most parents teach children to pay attention to their built in ‘ick’ factor. It’s a God-given creep meter designed to keep them safe from strangers and dangerous situations. And please don’t equate this to seeing Santa at the mall. Surely, some kids are scared of Santa, but if they google “Santa”, they won’t find images of porn, sex and bondage.

Mulligan said the “performers feel empowered” by these story times.  We’re sure they do!  

Jon Uhler, a licensed professional counselor who has worked clinically with approximately 4,000 serial predators, said in a recent interview that Drag Queen Story Hours are “the greatest grooming program ever devised”.

So, what exactly is going on in our public libraries?

Bonnie Gasper

MN Child Protection League

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