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Trouble in River City, um, Norwood

Woman holding sign against drag-queen story hour at the Norwood library

Late this afternoon, several grumpy-looking people took positions at the intersection of Washington and Nahatan streets in Norwood, in front of the town common, with signs warning the town library had been taken over by pedophiles out to corrupt the youth of the town.

They were, however, quickly outnumbered by people supporting the efforts of the Morrill Memorial Library to increase inclusiveness in the town, through such programs as next week's virtual Story Hour with Drag Kings, Queens & Friends, part of the library's overall celebration of Pride Month.

People supporting Pride at the town library, and one grump



It’s outrageous that the town is forcing kids to log on to this compulsory library story hour!

Wait...I’m being told that families who don’t want to participate can simply choose to not log on. A shocking development.


I'm confused. The computers dress in drag?

would be on my "suspected pedophile" list.

but I think that's a woman.

/Debating gender cues in a thread about drag queens. Thank you, Universal Hub!


I can't instantly tell what her genitals look like, so she needs to either put on a dress and heels and a full long hair wig, or she needs to be dressed in a man's three piece business suit complete with tie, wingtips and a fedora.

There are no other options. People don't get to just "decide" how to express their gender in public.


Is this a real thing drag queens reading to kids & they're being encouraged to "dress up"!?

That's kind of like saying if cops read to kids, they're encouraged to dress in these uniforms.

Yes, it is real. Any other questions?


"...they're being encouraged to dress up in any costume or outfit that makes them feel their best?'"

Think about drag. It is a form of dressing up. It also a form of costume. Just like Catholic bishops dress in pretty gowns and where colorful hats.

Dressing up could be boys or girls dressing as cowboys. It's cute when boys and girls dress up as cowboys and cowgirls. Ah-oh. I know where this is going: to the idea that boys or girls might dress up as princes or princesses. Worse, that boys or girls might refuse to dress up appropriate to what they are told is the correct way to dress.

Oh, what a world it might be if human beings could access the many forms and styles of clothing that have been created over the centuries. Personally I would favor a wardrobe filled with clothing appropriate to Renaissance Florence for Winter, 30's Berlin and New York for Spring and Fall, a bit of Scottish Tweed for tweedy evenings all yer round, and, perhaps for summer a warm sunny day, a flowery sundress with a flowing blouse that has billowy sleeves. Modest of course. Below the knees, with comfortable sandals.


This comparison to Catholic priests is telling.

This comparison to Catholic priests is telling.


Look awfully Westboro Baptist Churchie. Perhaps there is a WBC font online for these idiots to get their message out?

Few things - The guy who lived downstairs from me when I was 5 to 20 was a leatherman, full on jacket, motorcycle hat, tats when no one had tats, hung out in the reeds in the Fens. Nice guy, always smiling, always friendly. Never tried to "convert" me.

I have a friend who has a child we all knew by age 3 liked princesses a lot and now does a really good job with their teen age look at me make up. No drag queen reading a book caused their like of Tangled.

Lastly, that woman in the photo. Jesus Christ, is the tough broad look back? All that's missing is a Bud by her feet and a Kent hanging from her hand. What's the over / under she makes sure she is seen at the 10:30 every Sunday, including when visiting her sister at her cottage in Yarmouth espousing her love of God? Get bent honey. Someone is reading a book to a kid. That's it.


...the idea of a WBC font. Perfection.

There is a group of mostly elderly residents (it seems) who have been big Trumpies and have held signs in that area and others near by (Mostly rt. 1 in dedham, westwood, norwood, walpole).

I think these people are from that group.


why did they 'X' out their own signs?

The X's make the signs read "Drag Queens" and "Pineapple."

Sounds like the notes for the start of a John Waters' film.

This is Drag Queens, Is being a Drag Queen adult entertainment or a lifestyle?
I always thought it was the former, either way, if you dont want drag queens reading to your kids don't log on.

Drag performers can be cis or trans. Some identify strongly with the queer community and others not as much, but there's certainly the long-standing association and overlap.

Most drag performances are all-ages friendly. Some drag performers also are part of 18+ entertainment, but the same can be said for models, dancers, musicians, actors, etc. -- it doesn't make the whole profession "adult" because a small portion are involved in that. Most people who do participate in 18+ professions are very ethical and almost paranoid about making sure nothing gets into the hands of minors, everyone is carefully carded, any necessary consent is clearly obtained, and so forth. They work hard to make it absolutely clear they are not sex traffickers, exploiting anyone, or having their goods or services anywhere they aren't warmly welcomed.

Most of us in the queer community and queer-adjacent/overlapping communities (furries, drag, etc.) are pretty tired of having ourselves and our communities equated with being inherently sexual. Yes, queer people have sex, but it's not most of what we do. Gatherings in the queer community are generally not about sex. Queer spaces I am a part of for youth and all-ages are very definitely NOT about sex, other than when it periodically comes up as part of a discussion topic in older teen groups just like it does in non-queer older teen spaces.

Especially for those of us who are older, and constantly got told "it isn't appropriate to bring your sex life into the workplace" if we mentioned having a same-sex spouse, the "being queer is a sex thing" is just really old.

Drag is about being yourself, being proud, being your own person, exaggerating fun parts of yourself, and/or being someone else. It's a great message for youth, really. And as you and others have said, if someone doesn't like these messages for their kids, the events aren't mandatory. Personally if I had little kids I'd much rather take them to drag story hour than ice cream with a cop or similar bullshit.


I can't blame anyone for opting out of this program, Its way too out there for little kids who just want story time.

I used to watch Flip Wilson in drag as Ernestine on tv. Nothing happened to me, well, except I laughed.

When my son was about 4 or 5 we were getting ice cream in P-Town. My son asked me, is that a guy dressed like a girl when he saw someone handing out promos for a show. We said yes. He said ok. He's ok to this day.


But we all make decisions for our own kids, if someone decides against letting their kids participate in this it doesnt make them a bad person.
Storytime can go on and whoever wants to participate can do so. I dont understand protesting it though, it's easy to ignore something you're not interested in.

The drag performers who do humorous performances usually do want to be laughed at. It's almost as if they were just like everyone else.

If this were only something that wasn't your favorite thing, you wouldn't be making these defensive comments with all the strawmen. People who don't like chickpeas don't generally go around like, "listen, if people want to eat chickpeas, that's fine, and I'm not going to start protesting falafel shops or anything, but I better not hear anyone saying I'm some kind of legumeist for what should be my own choice to freely make for myself and my family." They just...don't eat any.


Which is looking for people to post their opinion. You dont have to agree with mine
Or are you saying someone who wouldn't log on to Drag Queens reading to their kids shouldnt say so?

Is there only one opinion on this subject and all others are irrelevant?

Or are you saying someone who wouldn't log on to Drag Queens reading to their kids shouldnt say so?

You are really putting in a lot of overtime trying to find someone to object to your decision not to watch a drag queen read a kid's book. In fact, one could be excused for thinking that you're really after trying to get others to form some kind of "ain't gonna let my kid watch no drag queen read 'One Fish Two Fish'" club. You keep expressing your disbelief and discomfort at the idea that anyone would allow their kid to watch drag queen storytime, all the while cloaking your objections in a fig leaf of other people trying to prevent you from refraining from doing so, or from even having opinions on the matter (none of which has happened). You're really telling on yourself here. Why not just come out and say that you find the whole subject intensely disturbing to the point where it bothers you that it even exists?

For a lot of families, drag performers are not "out there." Those of us with a lot of queer folks in our communities usually know plenty of people who perform in drag.

And for families who don't have a lot of diversity in their lives and want to bring in more, they often seek out public cultural experiences like this so their children don't grow up posting on internet forums that drag queens are "way too out there" or with the mistaken assumption that young children are already closed off to different cultural norms.


I have to ask:

What does queer mean?

I’ve googled it but it really seems that even on the internet there isn’t a clear answer but you always seem to use that word to describe yourself (I think)

First sentence:

Queer is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities who are not heterosexual or are not cisgender.

It's a term partially defined in the negative because it was originally a pejorative, used to exclude; it has since been reclaimed by the people who were being excluded.