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drama kings homophobia the federalist the wayward press transphobia

The Federalist went to a Drag Queen Story Hour and lived to tell the tale

Drag queen Muffy Fishbasket, who is actually a different drag queen than the one I’m writing about in this story

“Drag Queen Story Hour,” DQSH for short, is pretty much what it says it is: A drag queen goes to a library and spends an hour reading stories to children. The idea originated with queer writer and activist Michelle Tea in 2015, and right-wingers have been having fits about it ever since, seeing it as a vile propaganda tool that’s “normalizing degeneracy” and luring children into the LGBTQ lifestyle. One right-wing Christian activist likened the events to “mental rape.”

If you’re curious as to what exactly happens at one of these events, a writer for the right-wing Federalist recently attended one in D.C. and brought back a field report of sorts. Gabe Kaminsky made sure no one would have to doubt which side of the “controversy” he was on, describing DQDH’s as

essentially when creepy adults spend time with children to indoctrinate them on controversial theories about sex and diversity.

There was just one problem: this particular DQSH was, as far as I can tell from his report, a fairly straightforward affair, free of “mental rape” and sneaky indoctrination.

Given that nothing dastardly happened during the event, Kaminsky resorted to weird insinuations and inappropriate scare-quotes in an attempt to make a very un-sinister experience seem sinister.

At a place called “Unity Park” in Washington D.C. over the weekend, parents brought their kids to listen to a female drag queen rocking Yoda-like ears and high-top silver boots read politically correct books, lecture on diversity, and flail around.

Yoda ears and silver boots! What a satanic combination!

The drag queen performing at the event, Katie Macyshyn, aka “Katie Magician,”

began by fiddling with a ukulele and reciting her pronouns. She stared down at kids through colored contacts. 

Ukelele and pronouns and colored contacts! Oh my!

Macyshyn opened the story hour with the game “Simon Says.” After saying the name “Simon,” she backpedaled, seemingly discontent with using a male name. She then told the kids they would play “Katie says,” before reading.

Not “Katie says!” HER NAME IS KATIE! iS SHE SECRETLY HYPNOTIZING THE KIDS AND BRINGING THEM UNDER HER CONTROL …

Well, no, she wasn’t. It’s just a kids’ game.

Halfway through, Macyshyn instructed everyone to stand up for a game. Attendees walked over to the left of the park. The performer would say “pose” and everyone would stop.

The host took off her jacket after a few “poses,” staring at kids and almost reaching out to grasp them.

Almost? You’re accusing her of not doing something? If she had actually reached out and grabbed a couple of children and run off with them, that would be a story. “Almost” grabbing a kid isn’t a thing.

Kaminsky, lacking examples of actual deviance in the show, decided to attack Macyshyn, a performance artist, for things she has done elsewhere, for adult audiences.

Her performances include dancing in stockings with pieces of green cake falling off her costume, singing shirtless with duct tape on her breasts as people touch her forehead, dancing with a black thong around her thighs, and laying down with what appears to be fake sperm across her mouth.

Well, I guess it’s too bad she didn’t do any of these things in front of children because then Kaminsky would have a story. She didn’t; he doesn’t.

But that doesn’t stop him from declaring that Macyshyn is “one of the last people parents should let influence their kids or parenting.”

I can only assume that Kaminsky has written a similar piece arguing that Melania Trump is an unfit mother and a terrible role model because she has appeared in nude photos.

I couldn’t find such an article in The Federalist’s archives, though I did notice a small flood of articles by other Federalist writers defending Melania’s “sexy stillettos.” Maybe Kaminsky hasn’t heard about Melania’s photos? Maye he’s just too busy looking up what he thinks is incriminating stuff about drag queens.

Or maybe he just “almost” wrote such a story. Yeah, that’s probably almost it.

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She
She
2 months ago

Did you check the archives to see if there were any similar stories about Catholic priests though?

Katherine the Adequate
Katherine the Adequate
2 months ago

I wish something like this existed way, way back when I was a kid, or even when my grown kids were kids. Sounds like a lot of fun! I guess right-wing wet blankets will be right-wing wet blankets.

Full Metal Ox
2 months ago

So how many of the pearl-clutchers thought nothing of letting their kids watch Mrs. Doubtfire?

Snowberry
Snowberry
2 months ago

There used to be this thing where it comes to light that a teacher worked in stripping or porn to put herself through college, it makes a big splash in the news, and then the school fires her in order to blunt the moral panic backlash. At least that happened sometimes in the US, not sure about elsewhere. I think it’s along the lines of teachers being seen as trusted mentor figures / role models, but are “inappropriate” for that role if there’s any chance that kids might think adult entertainment is an okay thing to do even just by knowing that someone who they trust once did it; and also those fundamentalist types whose knee-jerk react at any situation where sex is even remotely involved and children are even remotely involved (even if the involvements are entirely separate) then it must be satanic pedophilia. Fortunately this is less common than it used to be, as it’s no longer sensationalist enough for most people to make front-page news.

Similar phenomena here; most professional drag queens do risqué shows (and worse, in some people’s eyes, are often gay), so are similarly “inappropriate” as children’s role models. Meanwhile the likes of Melania doesn’t count because she’s never worked with kids, and no one thinks of her as a role model for children – so even if The Federalist is essentially concern trolling, they’re not being hypocritical or anything. This time. Still, it probably says something that, as far as I’ve seen, the mainstream news only reported on the novelty of drag queen story hour, and once the novelty wore off, only seen them reporting right-wing attempts to shut down such events.

epronovost
epronovost
2 months ago

Thinking about it. What’s so different between Drag Queens reading children’s book to kids and clown reading children’s book to kids. The principle is basically the same. A funny, unconventionally dressed and comically behaving person reads a story to children. That doesn’t seem so bad. I suppose if you are deathly afraid of clowns you would think such an activity is monstrous and if you are afraid of drag queens the principle is the same. I wonder though why it’s still semi-acceptable for these pundits to project their fears unto children. Just admit drag queens creep you out and be done with it.

Steph
Steph
2 months ago

I came here to make a comment about Mrs Doubtfire being a kids film but saw somebody beat me to it!

I love when they have to manufacture outrage. Like why would they assume a drag Queen would do the same act at a children’s library reading as they would in an adult club?!

C.A.Collins
C.A.Collins
2 months ago

I’m now envisioning It in drag

Thanks, epronovost.

.45
.45
2 months ago

A couple of things occur to me:

I am not particularly familiar with drag queens, but is the implication they are little different than clowns something they’d appreciate?

Also, Mrs. Doubtfire was, if my childhood memories are correct, a movie about a guy who deals with his divorce by impersonating a babysitter in order to not creepily at all insert himself into his ex’s life and maybe not a great example of crossdressing. Oh wait, that’s ya’lls point…

Dalillama
2 months ago

@.45
A significant number of queens would object to being called clowns, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are. So are Elvis impersonators, when you get right down to it.

Full Metal Ox
2 months ago

@45:

Also, Mrs. Doubtfire was, if my childhood memories are correct, a movie about a guy who deals with his divorce by impersonating a babysitter in order to not creepily at all insert himself into his ex’s life and maybe not a great example of crossdressing. Oh wait, that’s ya’lls point…

The specific detail I’d recalled is that Williams’ character failed to win back his ex, but wound up hosting a kids’ show in his Mrs. Doubtfire persona—and I don’t recall any public uproar from the usual Guardians Of Other People’s Morals, either within or about the movie.

Skiriki
Skiriki
2 months ago

Amazing, now that I think about these things in retrospect…

A clown reading books to kid audience that has me in it: NO!
A drag queen doing the same: Oh no probs, that lady is shiny!

PS: Bottlefeeding a kitten from birth to 4 weeks of age is exhausting. Do Not Recommend. A cavalcade of kitten pics available here.

Alan Robertshaw
2 months ago

There was a kids’ cartoon show here in the 80s about a family of rats who lived in the home of Danny La Rue.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0421439/

We seem to have survived the experience.

(Although I now have the very catchy theme tune stuck in my head)

ETA:

Last edited 2 months ago by Alan Robertshaw
Nequam
Nequam
2 months ago

@Dalilama: I’d go with “comedic costumed entertainers” only because “clown” might have connotations that don’t really fit drag queens or Elvis impersonators.

Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
2 months ago

okay and? I’ve seen little kids take picture with a cosplayer for that one gal with the white hair and the dragons from game of thrones, the cleavage was plunging and the children thought she was Elsa. To me that seems more inappropriate. I mean if you really want to get into a tizzy about “think of the children” maybe talk about how shows for little girls like My Little Pony, are no longer safe for little girls because grown men want to fuck children’s pony characters.

Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
2 months ago

In fact I think I saw something a while ago that Queen Elsa from Frozen was modeled after a Adult film entertainer.

Daughter
Daughter
2 months ago

Back when I was a wee sprog in the UK in the 80s, we would go to a pantomime every year, sometimes as a school trip. A UK panto always has a drag queen in it (and the lead male role is always played by a woman). Yet I can’t think of anything less edgy and controversial than a UK pantomime.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
2 months ago

Macyshyn opened the story hour with the game “Simon Says.” After saying the name “Simon,” she backpedaled, seemingly discontent with using a male name. She then told the kids they would play “Katie says,” before reading.

Not “Katie says!” HER NAME IS KATIE! iS SHE SECRETLY HYPNOTIZING THE KIDS AND BRINGING THEM UNDER HER CONTROL …

Wait a minute? Is this our feminist friend Katie? The feminist overlord Katie?

I’m not even sure if anyone else was here for the troll that talked about our friend Katie. He provided no context and never clarified who Katie is supposed to me. We had much merriment about it for months. So I just to bring it up.

Victorious Parasol
Victorious Parasol
2 months ago

Let it go, let it go….

Moggie
Moggie
2 months ago

@WWTH, I miss the Katie references of old! And the hard chairs, and the slutty slutty penguins…

oncewasmagnificent
oncewasmagnificent
2 months ago

Hard chairs. Slutty penguins. Katie.

Living on the beach!!! Eating seagulls?

Such fun. Very informative. Always sensible.

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
2 months ago

Doth protest too much, there, Gabe? “Forced” himself to go to DQSH and “forced himself” to look up Katie’s performances for adults “for an article”. See, I can use scare quotes too!

When I was a kid, there was *always* some kiddo who’d point out there wasn’t anyone named Simon present during the game, so why should we have to do what Simon says? It makes more logical sense to have the caller use their own name.

IMO, clowns = unsettling, drag queens = fun.

@Skriki: Thank you for the kitten pictures, and I’m glad they’re eating food you don’t have to get up in the middle of the night to provide.

Queen of the Harpies
Queen of the Harpies
2 months ago

@FMO

I loved Mrs. Doubtfire (and I still do) and my conservative family members had no issues with us watching it as kids, although when I told my mom I finally got the “power tool in the bedroom” joke, she said she wished I didn’t. But she never said we couldn’t watch it, even when we started picking up on the innuendo.

That said, I’m aware it has some pretty problematic issues. I still wince really hard at the violently transphobic reactions of the two older kids when they find out “she” is a “he” (always lock the door when using the bathroom, and conversely, always knock if the door is closed!) and threaten to call the police. Horrible. Feeds into the stereotypes of crossdressers and trans women being predators. Actually, even earlier, RW’s character made up a transphobic persona when calling about the nannying ad, so that’s two. The 90s were marginally better for gay/bi people, but still pretty hostile to anyone stepping outside the approved gender binary.

And the slut shaming and other prying into the ex-wife’s personal life was really toxic and unnecessary. It really took away from the image of a guy who just loves his kids and is desperate to spend more time with them and gives it the unpleasant aftertaste of a bitter man seeking to sabotage his ex’s love life.

Putting that aside, I still enjoy it, and I think the reason most parents didn’t have issues with it is because it stars what TV Tropes would call a “wholesome crossdresser”. He’s a straight white guy who just misses his children, not some creepy, eeevil Buffalo Bill type character, you see.

@C.A.Collins

I don’t know if you’ve only seen the new It (I refuse), but in the original, Pennywise disguises himself as Beverly at one point, and in the book, took on the form of a female witch to go after her. The creature was also stated to “actually” be “female” (unless you count It’s true, final form as basically an eldritch horror made of orange light) but I didn’t like King’s portrayal of that for various reasons. (The book version of It is ten times more problematic than Mrs. Doubtfire, but it’s also an adult horror story, so kind of different.)

I would also agree that comparing drag queens to clowns could be taken as offensive by some, though there are similarities. I think this is why some drag queens creep me out (the looks, not the people themselves). A lot of it has to do with the makeup, I guess.

In any case, unless the kids are afraid of clowns and/or garish makeup, there’s no reason they can’t enjoy a story being told to them by a drag queen. This is just more manufactured outrage in the form of “Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the children!!!” moral panic.

Schadrach
Schadrach
2 months ago

I find the timing of this particular post interesting given the other event involving costumed people at a library to promote children’s literacy including a figure one journalist rather accurately dubbed “Rainbow Dildo Butt Monkey.”

Because the person in the rainbow monkey costume with the exposed nipples, prosthetic bare butt, and dildo dangling down from it’s crotch is exactly the sort of thing that people who get angry about DQSHs are on about – they either think that’s the sort of thing a DQSH is really about or that Rainbow Dildo Butt Monkey is just the next step down the slippery slope from DQSHs to child predation.

Rainbow Dildo Butt Monkey is to DQSH haters what Jessica Yaniv is to trans bathroom bills.

Allandrel
Allandrel
2 months ago

I have long been creeped out by some drag queens, and it was only recently that I worked out that it was not due to homophobia or transphobia, but coulrophobia. The only drag queens that creeped me out were those whose makeup had crossed the Clown Line.

@Elaine the Witch
To the best of my knowledge, this is a cause-and-effect mixup due a an adult performer (Elsa Jean) who has styled her name and look after Queen Elsa, not the other way around.

Disney is INCREDIBLY paranoid about avoiding such associations – they changed the name and title of Moana in Italy to avoid association with an Italian adult performer who had been dead for over twenty years.

Last edited 2 months ago by Allandrel
Elaine The Witch
Elaine The Witch
2 months ago

@Queen of the Harpies

If we really want to talk about the creepiest thing in the IT books, it isn’t pennywise, it’s the sex scene between all of the kids that I’m pretty sure are suppose to be like 12-14 in a fucking sewer.

@Allandrel

That makes a lot more sense.

Mykidsarealright
Mykidsarealright
2 months ago

This was my neighborhood. I took my own kids, under 5, and we are going to both remaining dates in august and sept. It was fantastic. Katie magician is always welcome here. Kaminsky, however, is exactly what I warn my kids about. He can gtfo and stay out.

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
2 months ago

@Mykidsarealright: Good for you. It sounds like lots of fun for the kids.

Did anyone notice Kaminsky? Was he over in a corner, scribbling notes in between clutching his pearls and having the vapors?

I bet he gave off bad vibes that kept the kids away from him, which is good.

@Allandriel: YES. The drag queens with too much makeup are scary exactly like clowns. It’s the white face and excessive eye, lip, cheek makeup.

@Elaine: which IIRC is basically a gang-bang, cuz there’s only one girl?

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
2 months ago

@WWTH, I miss the Katie references of old! And the hard chairs, and the slutty slutty penguins…

The mammoth never forgets.

In any case, unless the kids are afraid of clowns and/or garish makeup, there’s no reason they can’t enjoy a story being told to them by a drag queen. 

Some kids are just too shy/introverted to enjoy hanging out with strange adults and kids.

(I was that, and also afraid of clowns)

Queen of the Harpies
Queen of the Harpies
2 months ago

@Schadrach

Um, WTH is that RDBM thing? That’s not a costume someone’s reading to kids in, is it?

@Elaine and GSS

Yes, that’s one of the worst parts of the book (and they’re only 11 years old) and it tries to present the scene as a form of “bonding” and intimate power which is supposed to help them find their way out after the friendship bond they originally had (which apparently was only due to fate or magic or some other thing instead of actual friendship?) starts deteriorating, but I have a million issues with that and the way it was handled, and it goes on for way too long with too much detail. There are actually some other really uncomfortable scenes in the book too such as

cw: abuse
the reason Beverly’s father was abusing her is his way of “resisting the temptation” to molest her, and she develops a Freudian response to abusive men as a result
and other things that were just really unnecessary and distracted from the rest of the story. I think King is just kind of like that sometimes, which is why I’m not a very big fan.

@Lumipuna

Does the “hard chairs” reference have something to do with why there was a user calling themselves “Scented Fucking Hard Chairs”? I never got that.

Some kids are just too shy/introverted to enjoy hanging out with strange adults and kids.

Well yes, that should be taken into consideration too. But if a kid has this type of personality, I don’t think story hour with strangers would be good for them, drag queens or no drag queens.

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
2 months ago

@Queen of the Harpies:

Does the “hard chairs” reference have something to do with why there was a user calling themselves “Scented Fucking Hard Chairs”? I never got that.

I assume so, though I don’t really know for sure.

Another of the Missing Ones. Haven’t seen Scildfreja or PoM in a long while either…or now Naglfar.

Schadrach
Schadrach
2 months ago

@Queen of the Harpies

It’s a costume from a summer reading event aimed at kids, that was shut down after the first event due to backlash. Some conservatives are now using it as an example of what lies down the slippery slope between DQSH’s and child predation by “dangerous” transfolk. As though RDBM was a natural progression from DQSH, and a natural progression from RDBM leads towards child molestation by the trans.

Kind of like how they use Jessica Yaniv (trans woman best known for suing places that do bikini waxes for not waxing her balls, and also for making lots of inappropriate vaguely pedophilic statements about very young girls and also trying to be involved in events where said young girls might be readily separated from their parents) as an example of why trans bathroom bills are necessary.

contrapangloss
contrapangloss
2 months ago

Yes: Hard Chairs, Scented Candle, & “Shut up, Woody” were jokes from ages past, that were part of the commentariat common references, based off of particularly entertainingly bad rants from the manosphere.

It was back when there was an up to date Welcome Package with descriptions and illustrations of some of the best of the best ridiculousness.

The commentariat here does cycle, as great folks get busy or threads explode from a regular turning out to be not-great.

Editing to add: most of the links in the welcome package are broken…but they should work if you replace the OLD blog name with the new one! I think. On mobile and haven’t tested on account of that being work.

Last edited 2 months ago by contrapangloss
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
2 months ago

Hard chairs refers to the MRA Tom Martin who sued his university because the chair in the library were hard, therefore misandry because men have less fat on their butts.

Scented fucking candles was from a feMRA rant featured here complaining about how women these days spend all their husband’s money on frivolous things like “scented fucking candles”