Drag queens are not in schools by accident. It was and is an intentional act to upend educational models, to subvert norms of morality and human behavior, and to “queer” early childhood education. ” Drag ,” writes authors Harper Keenan and Lil Miss Hot Mess, “is firmly rooted in play as a site of queer pleasure, resistance, and self-fashioning.”
In a 2021 article called ” Drag pedagogy: The playful practice of queer imagination in early childhood ,” authors Harper Keenan, an education academic, and Lil Miss Hot Mess, a “founding queen” of Drag Queen Story Hour, opined at length on how progressive and revolutionary it is to put men in garish women’s costumes in classrooms. Their reasoning is five fold. The authors “discuss five interrelated elements of DQSH that offer early childhood educators a way into a sense of queer imagination: play as praxis, aesthetic transformation, strategic defiance, destigmatization of shame, and embodied kinship.
“Ultimately, the authors propose that ‘drag pedagogy’ provides a performative approach to queer pedagogy that is not simply about LGBT lives, but living queerly. ”
The goal of bringing drag performers into classrooms , normalizing adult sexual play and adult entertainment as part of early childhood education, is to instill a value system based on “queerness.” After educators fought for years to remove a value system based in moral foundations and national pride, they are now intentionally replacing it with a value system steeped in adult sexual mores, hedonism, sexual deviance.
As they dig into how key they believe drag is as a part of early childhood education , Keenan and Lil Miss Hot Mess say that having drag performers read aloud to children channels the drag practice of “playfully ‘reading’ each other to filth’ into different forms of literacy, promoting storytelling as integral to queer and trans communities, […]
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