Learning Literacy from Drag Queens?


A middle school in Colorado decided to invite Jessica L’Whor, a drag queen, to speak with kids about life, careers, and literacy. And then people’s heads caught on fire.

No, there wasn’t talk about sex. The name “Jessica L’Whor” wasn’t used, because it was admittedly inappropriate for the situation, so she was simply “Ms. Jessica.” And, the administration didn’t bother to warn parents about this scheduled appearance. After the fact, the school principal said that if the school ever decided to have such a controversial guest again, she would warn parents ahead of time so they could request that their precious little angels be excluded.

Now, this event has been mentioned in the press as a “career day,” which it wasn’t. It was a literary day, which presumably means that the guests were talking with students about the importance of literacy. One might question the point, and more importantly, exactly what a drag queen could contribute to these discussions, but c’est la vie. The reality of the situation is that we have yet another school getting into trouble over “sex” for reasons.

Sure, they probably won’t do this again. However, if they did and those warnings went out to the parents, yes the kids who would be excluded will either figure out a way to “forget” turning in that note from home or they will resent their parents. Why? The simple answer is the last thing any middle school wants to viewed as is “uncool” (or whatever term they’re using for the same.)

Let’s also be at least a little realistic here. Out of the parents who complained about this, one can wonder how many bothered to specifically block RuPaul’s Drag Race from their televisions. Well, maybe it wasn’t necessary, because maybe some of those parents are the ones who don’t allow television watching at all in the first place. The point is that no matter how much any parent wants to shelter their kids from the world, the fact remains that the world is still out there. It’s filled with good and bad things, hazards and helpful situations, and yes, it has drag queens. Now, if you’re thinking that your kids will suddenly decide to become a transvestite just because they saw one in school, you have some serious issues. First, you’re assuming that whatever you are attempting to teach your kids is being absolutely ignored. Second, you’re not giving your kids credit for being capable of thinking things through before they decide to do something. Finally, you’re assuming that every single interest your kids will ever have in their lives will last forever.

Now, if all of that were true, we really would be a great deal of trouble as a society. Otherwise, just remember, kids tend to want to do whatever their parents say they shouldn’t, and kids are naturally curious about everything. Freud and Jung figured that out a long time ago. Perhaps that should be a required lesson for all adults before they become parents.

Image: Facebook/Jessica L’Whor