Melbourne Academics admit the obvious about Drag Performances for children

The plunge into the world of sexual fantasy and the normalisation of all manner of sexual proclivities continues, and probably will so for time to come. There is little left that remains a no-go zone, so long it’s prefaced by the word ‘consent’. I’m glad we are now having a national conversation around consent. It’s 50 years too late, but at least society and schools are now talking about it. Hopefully, consent becomes one of several essential components that are required for building a healthy sexual ethic. Indeed, consent is a Bible idea, showing us both the evil of when it’s not given and the beauty of biblically framed consent.

Like most people, I don’t enjoy dipping my feet into these conversations, because they are less conversant and more spitting anger, insult, and worse. It’s always easier to let things be. We’re damned if we do and if we don’t.

Photo by Marko Lukiu0107 on

The latest episode of ‘what happens in America Comes to Australia’, is Drag Queens performing for children.

Councils across Melbourne are deciding that what children really need is exposure to men dressing up as hyper-sexualised parodic women. While this seems to be relatively new, like previous iterations of our sexular age, what is possible soon becomes normal and then it’s defined as a moral imperative and any dissenters are deemed to be the worst of bigots. It’s not that men dressing in drag is new to society, but hosting such events for young children is new. 

Let’s be clear, there are people in the community who are responding in inappropriate and even dreadful ways. One doesn’t correct one wrong by making another. There is no place for making threats against individuals or organisations, or screaming and shouting obscenities and slanderous name calling. If that is you, please shut up, stay home and take this Proverb’s warning to heart, “An angry person stirs up conflict, and a hot-tempered person commits many sins.” (Proverbs 29:22)

Having said that, is the only alternative to that kind of unsociable behaviour, acceptance and affirmation? Of course not. 

University of Melbourne Theatre teachers,  Sarah Austin and Jonathan Graffam O’Meara, have written a defence of Drag Story Time for The Conversation. In ‘Won’t somebody please think of the children? Their agency is ignored in the moral panic around drag storytime’, they rightly call out uncouth protestors, although they also suggest that anyone concerned by sex performers must be phobic and bigoted. The trope, while now common usage, is both lazy and false.  

Their main thesis is that parents should let their children decide. They argue that children have moral agency and therefore the best thing to do is expose them to queer theory. There is of course a tiny little flaw in their contention: Parents have both a moral and legal responsibility to their children, which includes raising them according to what they believe is right and best. Should we let a 5-year-old look at porn, just because they ask? Should we invite our children to watch Game of Thrones or other highly sexed-up shows because we’re giving them agency?

Leaving aside this weird and yes, dangerous, proposition, the authors admit the very thing that’s not meant to be said about children’s drag story time: there is an agenda.

“Drag pokes fun at the gender binary and, in doing so, it aims to blur the boundaries and expose the artificiality of gender roles.” 

Austin and Graffam O’Meara have confessed that these drag performers have an agenda and it is to dismantle and even destroy male/female distinctions. 

The admission continues,

“the way drag asks us to question the socially constructed nature of gender offers children a vision of self-determination. You can do what you want to do, you can be who you want to be.”

By this self-determination, the authors mean ‘queerness’.  

This is nothing short of education for young children, teaching them to reject biological realities about sex and rejecting gender differences (as though these are inherently bad for you) and instead adopt a queer view of the self.

It is somewhat ironic that Premier Daniel Andrews, among others, will defend Drag story times for kids as though this is a moral good. And yet, if a religious person prays with or talks to another individual about sex or gender, they can face criminal charges and imprisonment. Alice has jumped down the rabbit hole and we haven’t hit rock bottom yet!

Indeed, Victoria’s sex agenda may have more to offer. Victorian Legislative Council member, David Limbrick, today tweeted, 

“In Victoria, we will soon have new censorship legislation. We already suspect that the Greens will happily support criminalising the expression of the definition of a woman as “adult human female”. The real question is, will the Labor Government go this far? Will the Opposition even resist?”

The legislation hasn’t been released yet and so we don’t know what it will contain, but at least one MP is asking the question.

This isn’t about hating on anyone, this is about loving our kids and believing that young children shouldn’t be exposed to sexualised behaviour and agendas. 

If there was ever a sexual revolutionary that we should be following, it’s the one started by Jesus. Jesus didn’t accept the sexual norms of First Century Judea and Rome. He stood up against men who treated women as property and objects of sexual gratification. He affirmed the Biblical pattern for marriage: 1 man and 1 woman for life. He also showed great compassion toward those who were sexually broken and struggling, and he loved and forgave those whose sexual lifestyle transgressed God’s good ways. 

The problem today is that just about every issue is hijacked by the loud and mean and crude and the most militant of adherents. This is true for opposing sides in many of these debates. The ability to partner disagreement with love is anathema to many today, although as people we are in desperate need of this combination. A parent who only ever agrees or affirms their children is travelling down a very unsettling and selfish path. How much more should this be said of God, if he only ever affirms every whim and thought and desire we want.

When the next Melbourne Council proposed a children’s drag queen story time, let’s not pretend there are no sexual connotations attached.  Also, don’t follow the lead of the hyper right and reach for the boiling point of outrage. If we’re serious about navigating a better way for having important conversations and to present a better sexual ethic, we need to return to one man who can truly claim to be a Saviour.