The month of June is filled with rainbow profile pictures, pride parades, and now invitations to “Drag Queen Story Hours” (DQSH) at local public libraries.
Thanks to progressive leadership among the military ranks, these events are starting to show up on military installations.
Ramstein Air Base in Germany made the news with their DQSH that was initially scheduled for June 2nd and was abruptly canceled by base leadership. Allegedly there were some complaints about this event happening on a military installation around children.
The event, which was supposed to be held Thursday, was going to feature drag queen Stacey Teed, according to a since-deleted Facebook post.
Its cancellation came after some service members and lawmakers criticized the planned activity.https://t.co/DFnKmCTfZt
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) June 1, 2022
Who could take issue with a drag queen coming to a military base to read to children?
Introducing To The Stage… Senator Marco Rubio
For those unfamiliar with Ramstein, it is a veritable hub of military activity in the European theater. The headquarters of U.S. Air Forces in Europe also houses, among other big names in military units, NATO Allied Air Component Command Headquarters, 3rd Air Force, and the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing.
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They are kind of a big deal.
On June 2nd, the base library was going to host a 30-minute event with drag queen Stacey Tweed in which they would read books to the children of parents stationed at Ramstein.
Upon hearing of this, Senator Rubio promptly sent a letter to Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall that stated, among other things:
“The last thing parents serving their nation overseas should be worried about, particularly in a theater with heightened geopolitical tensions, is whether their children are being exposed to sexually charged content simply because they visited their local library.”
It’s important to note that when stationed overseas, the only library available to you is the base library, given obvious issues related to language barriers.
Days after announcement of the cancellation of the Drag Queen Story Time that had been slated for Thursday at the Ramstein library, conflicting explanations are being offered.https://t.co/3F1fTFw4j0
— Stars and Stripes (@starsandstripes) June 1, 2022
Not The First Time
It’s interesting to note that Ramstein held the same event last year but with drag queen Savauge, who read what I’m sure is an age-appropriate tome titled, “The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish.”
In Senator Rubio’s letter to Secretary Kendall, he asked for an investigation of the frequency of these events and how much government funding was spent.
See, your tax dollars pay for the military libraries and jet planes, drones, and the oh-so fantastic and self-important Thunderbirds.
Ramstein isn’t the only place that has dabbled in the drag culture. Last year, Nellis Air Force Base hosted the “Drag-U-Nellis” drag show at the base club.
Again to provide some background, Nellis Air Force Base is located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Among many super important organizations, it houses the USAF Warfare Center, the Nevada Test and Training Range, and the Thunderbirds.
There are also the aliens at Area 51. I can’t forget about them. I’m just kidding. There aren’t any aliens. Or am I…
I was stationed at Nellis AFB for two years. I remember it took an act of God to try to get approval to do a March Madness bracket event in the unit because of the controversy that it encourages gambling. Oh, how much the military has changed in such a short amount of time.
Where Did DQSH Come From
If you’re wondering if Drag Queen Story Hour is something new, I can tell you it’s not. It started in 2015 from, you guessed it… San Francisco.
Various drag events for kids are being advertised everywhere:
Mahwah, NJ – drag queen story time
Apex, NC – DQSH & drag show
Manchester, VT – drag queen bingo
Denver, CO – drag queen talent show pic.twitter.com/nniSAhopyy
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) May 31, 2022
DQSH even has a reasonably well-established website that states its mission is to “…capture the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and (give) kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models.”
Unsurprisingly this initiative is supported by the American Library Association.
The Shape of the New Military
The Biden administration reversed the temporary ban on transgender individuals from serving openly in the military. This reversal prompted the Pentagon to reach out to the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) to study what allowing nonbinary troops to serve openly would require.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN): “Dept of Defense is studying the issue of allowing gender nonbinary people to serve in the military, is that true?”
Defense Sec. Austin: “I am supportive of allowing any person that’s eligible and can meet the qualifications to serve their country.” pic.twitter.com/M1Oue6J08a
— The Recount (@therecount) April 7, 2022
I’ve had to do a lot of googling lately, so I’ll share a little tidbit of knowledge.
According to the Human Rights Campaign website, to be transgender is to identify as the opposite gender you were ‘assigned’ at birth. So if I were to be transgender, I would identify as a man.
According to the same website, to be nonbinary is to not exclusively to identify as a man or a woman. So hold on a tick that might be confusing; allow me to shed more light.
“Non-binary people may identify as being both a man and a woman, somewhere in between or as falling completely outside of these categories.”
What About the Bathroom?
According to a 2021 study by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, 1.2 million adults identify as nonbinary, 76% of whom are under 29. Besides being almost exclusively a postmodern phenomenon, that’s prime military recruitment age right there.
“To get the talent, obviously, you’ve got to kind of get with the times.”
The effort to allow nonbinary service members to serve openly is a matter of standards, at least if you believe what you read. So such things as administrative paperwork and uniform standards would need to be addressed.
But there are legitimate practical issues to consider as well, like where nonbinary service members would shower in large deployments, let alone basic training.
Throughout June, the USMC takes #Pride in recognizing and honoring the contributions of our LGBTQ service members. We remain committed to fostering an environment free from discrimination, and defend the values of treating all equally, with dignity and respect.#PrideMonth #USMC pic.twitter.com/MOyvFmyJiB
— U.S. Marines (@USMC) June 1, 2022
According to Aaron Belkin, Director of the Palm Center, which researches gender and sexuality in the military, the answer could be as simple as the Commanders ‘consulting’ with the nonbinary service member about which gender bathroom would be appropriate.
Those Pesky Pesky Showers
The controversy surrounding transgender and nonbinary individuals isn’t just for the military. Lia Thomas, the famous transgender swimmer who broke records, gave an exclusive interview yesterday regarding her experience and rights as a transgender athlete.
Lia Thomas' teammate said of PENN:“If you even bring up the fact that Lia swimming might not be fair, you are immediately shut down as being called a hateful person, or transphobic." https://t.co/JCPLd5k8JY
— OutKick (@Outkick) June 1, 2022
Shortly after the interview aired, Matt Walsh of Daily Wire tweeted a teaser video from his documentary ‘What is a Woman.’ The video was of one of Lia Thomas’ teammates who said:
“There’s a lot of things you couldn’t talk about that were very concerning like a locker room situation.”
She goes on to state:
“If you even brought up concerns about it, you were [deemed] transphobic.”
I wonder how the military handles any concerns brought up by service members who might not feel comfortable showering with transgender and nonbinary individuals? I bet it’s with the utmost respect and care.
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