The recent sold-out Drag Queen Story Hour at Laguna Art Museum was fab-u-lous with a capital F. Who doesn’t love a story time drenched in sequins and sass? Hats off to LAM for creating a safe and hysterically funny space for family fun on Dad’s Day. But, of course, there are a few fringe zealots who can’t handle the glitter and glam. The pearl-clutching zeitgeist of the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ camp would have you believe that drag queens are glittery pied pipers, leading our innocent children astray. Oh, please! If we truly care about our kiddos, we should care about all of them, including those who identify as LGBTQ+. We need to educate our children on the importance of acceptance and diversity, and events like a bedazzled story hour can help with that.
Let’s remember that Laguna has been proudly waving the inclusivity flag since its founding in 1927, when’ South Seas’ opened in the Coast Inn, and the Hollywood crowd, including Rock Hudson, headed to Laguna to escape LA raids on gay and lesbian bars. In the 1960s, two gay bars, Dante’s and Barefoot, stood near Main Beach until the Boardwalk was built. The 1970s had The Little Shrimp and Boom Boom Room (the oldest gay bar on the West Coast) Bounce and Main St. followed. Laguna even made national news in 1982, with the U.S. first openly gay mayor, Bob Gentry, who served three terms. Now, that’s defining history!
To those zoilists questioning LAM’s Drag Queen Story Hour: do you really think drag queens pose a bigger threat than, say guns, which have sadly become the number one cause of death for children in the U.S.? The only thing a drag queen has ever fired is a killer punchline. As Wanda Sykes wisely quipped, “When a drag queen walks into an elementary school and beats eight children to death with a copy of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ we have a problem.” The irony of misplaced outrage over a non-issue vs. silence by the same far-right zany’s to support common sense gun reform is deafening and with deadly consequences.
It’s Pride Month! Let’s stop with the hot mess of fear, prejudice and cancel culture; dig out the disco-ball, and wrap ourselves in the rainbow boa of fabulousness, diversity, love and acceptance that truly has been Laguna’s defining legacy since our city’s incorporation in 1927, almost 100 years ago!
Chris and Theresa Prelitz, Laguna Beach