Letter: What is LAM Thinking?

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The Laguna Beach Art Museum wants your very young children to attend Drag Queen Story Hour—on Father’s Day weekend, no less. On their website, the museum director and board promise an in-person visit by a “glamorous, positive and unabashedly queer” role model: a drag queen in full costume to help defy “rigid gender restrictions.” 

Drag queen storyteller “Pickle” plans to read titles like “The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish” written by “Lil Miss Hot Mess.” The book, available on Amazon, is advertised for kids from ages 2 to 7 years old. According to Amazon, the book offers a “quirky twist on a classic nursery rhyme by illustrating all the ways to ‘work it.'” A companion book by the same author is “If You’re a Drag Queen and You Know It.” Again, according to Amazon, it encourages kids to: “Strike a pose. Blow a kiss. If you’re a drag queen and you know it…let it show by ‘shaking your bum.'” 

If this was just about “art” – grown men wearing outrageously extreme feminine clothing, wigs and makeup – why read books celebrating being queer? Why not “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie?” Do you want your 4-year-old to be a “little hot mess,” shaking his booty and working it? What message is this sending our children?  

This issue goes far beyond the scheduling decisions of the Laguna Beach Art Museum—which is, incidentally, partially funded with our taxpayer dollars. More importantly, this goes to the heart of our children’s innocence. It’s worth emphasizing that the book Pickle the drag queen proposes to read is for children ages two to seven. This is the sexualization of children at an extremely early age, pure and simple. Should kids be forced to question whether they are a boy or a girl at an age when they should be learning their colors and letters and how to safely cross a street? 

There are many more appropriate ways to promote the acceptance of other lifestyles than to expose toddlers to such presentations. It’s time for our community to rally. Our very youngest community members need protecting and nurturing—they don’t need readings by fully-costumed drag queens. 

What is the Laguna Beach Art Museum thinking? 

Jennifer Welsh Zeiter, Laguna Beach

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Where was your outrage when JonBenet Ramsey and other little girls were being dressed up like prostitutes and paraded around audiences of adults for their entertainment? Hypocrisy knows no bounds.

  2. Oh Jorg,

    Hypocrisy? Looks like you assumed something entirely untrue, and made a baseless false accusation. Not a good look.

    Did you know me 28 years ago back in 1996? Do you know me now? As a parent (of which you are NOT) I’ve always believed child beauty pageants are a twisted form of emotional child abuse and sexualization as well. I believe children are sadly sexualized today in music, in movies, in television, print ads, and certainly on the internet. But that’s not the point, is it? Back in 1996 when Jon Benet was killed I was busy working and raising 3 young children in the Bay Area. My kids were athletes, not beauty pageant contestants.

    But Jorg, you prove my point in the LTE. Sexualization of young children by drag queens is messed up. Looks like you agree. Hands off our kids.

  3. There was outrage at the time for the beauty pageants. Isn’t that why many pageants are no longer around? You bring up a good point, if this child was not involved in beauty pageants would she perhaps be alive today? The danger our society puts children in, (children are last in this scenario with Drag performers having priority with their feelings), and the Museum having a hand in warping children’s minds. Should we not be filling 2-6 year olds with life tools? “Wheels on the bus makes sense”, “Drag Queen goes swish swish swish” does not. Children exposed to such nonsense will end up in therapy and focus on their feelings their whole life and make nothing of themselves, Children who are exposed to classics, classical music, math, literature, history, science (real ones, not edited) will excel and succeed in life. Thats the tools we owe our Children.

  4. India, you mean classic literature like A Catcher in the Rye, Grapes of Wrath, the Great Gatsby, and To Kill a Mockingbird? Oh wait, these titles have all been banned by right wing zealots.

    I hate to break it to you, but some children who may feel a stirring they can’t explain may find comfort and solace in knowing they are not alone, and may in fact avoid therapy and perhaps will make something very special of their lives.

  5. 1.) Pressure City Council to Vote Down Their Funding
    2.) Call on All Local Donors to Stop Funding
    3.) Fire Director

    End it now.

  6. Chris Quilter – the same old ad hominem attacks from the likes of you and your kind.
    Pure ignorance. It’s that simple.

    Stuart – Exactly. LB City Council should not use our taxpayer dollars to support a museum that peddles drag queens to toddlers.

    Lagauna Art Museum supporters/donors – If you disagree with the Museum’s Drag Queen Story hour being promoted as “art” as highly inappropriate for young children, defund the musuem and stop further donations.

  7. Jennifer, Stuart and India, Your anger is mis-placed. Perhaps your time would be better spent understanding human relations and acceptance of the fact that human beings come in all shapes, sizes and ways of existing on the planet. Joy is found in all colors and age is not a factor in finding happiness. To think that a child will fail and need therapy because of being exposed to a drag queen is laughable. There are many people in therapy because of their exposure to repressive religious doctrines and other forms of abuse much worse then seeing a man in drag. BTW Jennifer, you say I am NOT a parent. You should ask my 38 year old son what he thinks of that ignorant statement. Slaying windmills is an errand of the close minded.

  8. People in the comments say that the Museum permitting the gays and LGBT being taught to kids isn’t government enforced homosexuality, and we have ‘misplaced anger”. But we were told for decades that if even one institution / museum or school had prayers that was equivalent to Christian theocracy. We will keep our children free from indoctrination. Dress in drag? Isn’t that what Hamburger Mary’s is for? Not our public art museum. Why doesn’t the LGBTQ community start their own art museum? See if they’d permit straight people to come in and tout it.

  9. One is theocracy and the other biology. But go ahead and apply your Christian fundamentalist beliefs that somehow one’s sexuality is wrong and must be repressed.

  10. Mr. Beyer, you said, “Why doesn’t the LGBTQ community start their own art museum?”
    I have several questions about you comments, the main one is, since you’re the one who wants the museum’s policies changed, aren’t you the one who should be starting your own museum?

  11. There is a clear choice here. So obvious it has been lost. Don’t like drag queens? Don’t take your kids to the museum! Don’t like repressive religious doctrine? Don’t go to church! We all have choices. Why not use them? Seems simple doesn’t it?

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