Story Hour: Drag Queens? Yes. Christians? No.

Inventor of Drag Pedagogy, Lil Miss Hot Mess (Credit: WatchThem/YouTube)

Lil Miss Hot Mess reads “The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish” to hundreds of children. Hot Mess acts out the part standing in front of children to  “swish, swish, swish.” Parents clap happily and encourage their kids to participate by touching a swishing Hot Mess. Lil Miss Hot Mess isn’t just one of a growing cadre of men dressed as cartoon caricatures of sexualized women — he “wrote the book on it.” Lil Miss Hot Mess is a “star” in the short film titled “Tall Tales with True Queens,” which walks through Drag Queens reading to children at public libraries including The Brooklyn public library.


In the short film, Hot Mess reads a book about a boy wanting to transition into a mermaid. In front of him, a child stands. She (or he) is dressed in a rainbow logo shirt and wears a multi-colored wig. Hot Mess says in a voice-over:

“Kids. They’re imaginative. They’re all about play, they haven’t been baked into, you know, society’s norms and expectations, so I think to them, things are like, fluid.” 



Apologists for Drag Queen Story Hours would insist that all they are doing is reading books to children – “What could be the harm in that”? But that isn’t what they are doing. Hot Mess co-authored  “Drag Pedagogy: The Playful Practice of Queer Imagination in Early Childhood,” with a transgender named Harper Keenan. Hot Mess (whose real name is Harris Kornstein) is also a college professor. Kornstein was an early proponent of reading books to children in libraries in drag. He created the curriculum for other Drag Queens to work their way into the public. His manifesto makes his intentions clear.

Kornstein and Keenan write:

“Through this programme, drag artists have channeled their penchant for playfully “‘reading’ each other to filth into different forms of literacy, promoting storytelling as integral to queer and trans communities, as well as positioning queer and trans cultural forms as valuable components of early childhood education.”


Kornstein invented the term: “Drag Pedagogy.” For men dressed in drag, Drag Queen Story Hour is a way of emoting “queer imagination,” along with teaching “how to live queerly” to children. Proponents of Drag Queen Story Hour don’t seek to simply read from any of the tens of thousands of books that are just fun reads for children — they seek to indoctrinate.  Any of their apologists who claim otherwise are lying.

Christopher Rufo has done yeoman’s work on this subject, and writes:

Kornstein and Keenan argue, their task is to disrupt the “binary between womanhood and manhood,” seed the room with “gender-transgressive themes,” and break the “reproductive futurity” of the “nuclear family” and the “sexually monogamous marriage”—all of which are considered mechanisms of heterosexual, capitalist oppression. The books selected in many Drag Queen Story Hour performances—Cinderelliot, If You’re a Drag Queen and You Know It, The Gender Wheel, Bye Bye, Binary, and They, She, He, Easy as ABC—promote this basic narrative. Though Drag Queen Story Hour events are often billed as “family-friendly,” Kornstein and Keenan explain that this is a form of code: “It may be that DQSH is ‘family friendly,’ in the sense that it is accessible and inviting to families with children, but it is less a sanitizing force than it is a preparatory introduction to alternate modes of kinship. Here, DQSH is ‘family friendly’ in the sense of ‘family’ as an old-school queer code to identify and connect with other queers on the street.” That is, the goal is not to reinforce the biological family but to facilitate the child’s transition into the ideological family.”


Instead of reading “filth” to each other, librarians (overwhelmingly Democrats) have sponsored and encouraged Drag Queen Story Hours. New York, in fact, pays for them with taxpayer money.

In 2022, what are the acceptable criteria for reading to children in a public library? If you are a Christian with a faith-based book, you won’t find a spot. Kirk Cameron and his new faith-based kids’ book (published by Brave Books) found that out. They learned it was impossible to book public libraries for a Story Time reading. None of the libraries they contacted would allow Cameron to read his book, and many noted that they have a “diverse” population that wouldn’t approve his application for story time even if he attempted to submit one.

In Providence, Rhode Island, the Rochambeau Public Library said: “No, we will pass on having you run a program in our space.”

Drag Queens can read  “The Gender Wheel, Bye Bye, Binary” and encourage children to touch their fake breasts and sequined mermaid dress, but a Christian reading a faith-based book is a bridge too far.

Drag Queen Story Hour (Credit: WatchThem/YouTube)

There is something wrong with this picture and I can’t quite put my finger on it.


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