Angel Elektra drew a crowd at the Putnam Valley Library on Feb. 1 when the drag queen read books to a packed room of children and their parents as a lesson about inclusiveness and acceptance. A local priest took offense and organized a protest. Others (below) showed up to voice support for the event. Elektra will read stories at Split Rock Books in Cold Spring on May 17.
I found the reaction to the Drag Queen Story Hour at the Putnam Valley Library on Feb. 1 to be unsurprising yet still quite laughable. Father Frank Samoylo of St. Columbanus Church in Cortlandt Manor had the audacity that only a Catholic priest could to accuse drag-queens, in a note to his congregation, of being “sexual perverts who expose themselves to children or have physical contact with them.”
Father Samoylo goes on to question what kinds of parents would subject their children to such “abuse.” The Drag Queen Story Hour took place in full view of parents and library staff. This is much more than can be said for the Catholic Church, a 2,000-year-old institution that has only recently even admitted that rampant sexual abuse of children has occurred on its watch, and which to this day continues to harbor and protect pedophiles in order to save face. If there are any parents who would send their young child into a room alone with a Catholic priest over a drag queen, they are fools.
Drag queens reading stories to children is fun. The queens are performers; kids like garish, sparkly things. Sex is not a factor except to the extent that it’s apparently always on the minds of those who so vehemently oppose anything LGBTQ+. The goal of the program is to teach children that gender can be fluid — that it’s OK to be different and unique, that boys can play with dolls and girls can like to climb. Are we still debating these concepts in 2020? They were widely accepted in the 1970s and early 1980s, when Free to Be, You and Me included the song “William Wants a Doll” and companies marketed gender-neutral toys.
How have we slid so far backward that Putnam parent Facebook groups declare that Drag Queen Story Hour is about indoctrination and sexual deviance? Like it or not, dear Putnam, some of your children do not fit into gender or other norms, and Drag Queen Story Hour merely shows them that that’s OK.
One drag queen who participated in the program recounted how a little girl asked her if she was a boy or a girl, and she re-plied, “Today, I’m a girl.” The end. It is that simple.
Calm down Putnam, and try to remember that just because leaders like Father Samoylo and Donald Trump may wish it, the year is no longer 1945. If your children grow up to emulate a drag queen over men like those two, you should give eternal thanks to the Goddesses of Drag.
Father Frank Samoylo of St. Columbanus Parish in Cortlandt Manor was simply exercising his constitutionally guaranteed right to speak out in the public square when he criticized the Drag Queen Story Hour at the Putnam Valley Library. Despite Eileen McDermott’s broad brushing of Catholic priests, the overwhelming majority are good, decent and honorable men.
The story hour is also an example of free speech, but deeper questions have yet to be addressed: Was this in good taste? Was it wise? Was it responsible? And is it the purpose of the public library to indoctrinate and put forward agendas, be it political, ideological or societal?
A reader posted on Facebook that “this is what happens when moral moorings are removed and situational ethics and relativism becomes the norm.” There is a strong ring of truth in that.
The story hour at Putnam Valley Library was a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to more stories about the importance of love, acceptance, kindness and family with Angel Elektra! [via Facebook]
This is what happens when moral moorings are removed and situational ethics and relativism become the norm. [via Facebook]
Because drag queens reading stories to kids is worse than, say, Dolly Parton, who dresses like a drag queen and has said she would come back in a next life as one, reading stories to kids, right? Because she’s a real woman who sings at concerts instead of in bars, big boobs, fake boobs or not?
Adults are the only ones concerned that drag queens are too explicit for kids. Kids have no idea — Wonder Woman has barely any clothes on and if she came to read a story to kids in a library there would be ZERO priests protesting. Find another fight. There are plenty right now.