It's called "Drag Queen Story Hour" and it's taking place at public libraries across the U.S. One man – a pastor – is doing what he can to shut them down.
It's just like it sounds, says the website promoting the story hours – and it "captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models." In essence, crossdressing men sit in front of a bunch of preschoolers and read them books about a king and a king, or how Heather has two mommies.
Last year in New Orleans, Chris Giarmo dressed up in a blue dress, heavy face makeup, painted fingernails, and a wig. He calls himself Kimberly. "We are these kind of magical, unicorn versions of people that show kids that they can be anything that they want to be," said Giarmo. "It doesn't matter what body you were born into or what you want to do. Dress up like whatever you want."
Pastor Rich Penkoski wants to stop the burgeoning trend before it takes root. "They are turning these kids into sexual objects," he tells OneNewsNow. "And as a parent of six children, as a Christian, how could one stand by, watch this, and not do something?"
Penkoski wants to shut down every drag queen story hour across the country. He's starting in the conservative South. Last weekend he and some other concerned Christians protested and stopped their third drag queen story hour – this one at the public library in Mobile, Alabama. It has since been moved to a private location.
Last month, his group (Warriors for Christ) teamed with another (Citizens for a New Louisiana) and filed a federal lawsuit to stop another pro-LGBT reading event at the public library in Lafayette, Louisiana. That event was then moved to a nearby community college and ultimately was cancelled.
The pastor hopes eventually to achieve the same result where the movement started: San Francisco.
Photo credit: dragqueenstoryhour.org
Editor's note: Corrected the status of the Mobile, Alabama, event.