Because it is 2017, apparently inviting young library patrons to attend story time in their costumes and handing out candy corn was not edgy enough for the New York Public Library.
Instead of simply being read a simple Halloween storybook by a librarian in a witch costume, children will instead be treated to a story from someone who has far more experience dressing up–a prominent New York drag queen who spends the rest of the year hosting drag shows and gay pride events at nightclubs around the city.
That’s right, Harmonica Sunbeam, a comedian, actor, and well-known drag queen, will be hosting a very special Halloween Drag Queen Story Hour for children with autism at the 53rd Street Branch of the New York Public Library.
Drag queen story hours have gained popularity in the last few years. They began in San Francisco (go figure!) and have recently moved to New York. One lesbian mom writes that when she first heard about these events, she was really excited.
“But I didn’t take my own kids,” she explains. “I knew my 4-year-old twin boys, who both have autism, would be overwhelmed by the huge crowds and wouldn’t connect with many of the more abstract books they chose. And I worried about people not being understanding if one of my kids had a meltdown or behaved oddly.”
“Since the organizer of DQSH [Drag Queen Story Hour] in New York City is one of my oldest friends, Rachel Aimee, I explained all of this, and she really listened. Over the summer, she and I collaborated with the New York Public Library to hold a Drag Queen Story Hour event specially for children with autism and other special needs.”
It’s bad enough that parents are happily bringing their children to library story times that normalize cross-dressing and gender confusion, but they wanted to make sure to include special-needs children as well.
Why can’t story time just be story time? Why turn it into a radical political statement? If you browse Harmonica Sunbeam’s Facebook page, he mostly posts about his nightclub shows and suggestive videos of shirtless muscular men. Is this really the kind of character you’d want influencing young children who simply want to hear a story and do a craft?
The fact that these parents would go to such great lengths to make sure their autistic children be included in the edgy trend of Drag Queen Story Hour just proves the appeal of these freak shows is entirely for adults. There is no benefit to small children being read to by a drag queen other than to brainwash them that a man dressed as a woman with six layers of grotesque costume makeup is normal.
When else in society to we insist small children be exposed to something that normally takes place in seedy nightclubs?