How the left pushes LGBTQ activism on kids

"Gender ideology is a worldview, a belief system," author Mary Rice Hasson said. "Those who become true believers, and make it their mission to convert others, will be activists. There’s no middle ground here."

Children march with drag queens in a pride parade in Queens, New York City. (Drag Queen Story Hour/Facebook)

(Daily Caller News Foundation) — Progressive leftists have pushed a highly sexualized LGBTQ and transgender activism on children, employing social media, television, the classroom, and more to advance their message, conservative advocates told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“The bottom line is that parents who want to protect their children’s innocence must be incredibly diligent,” American Principles Project president Terry Schilling told the DCNF. “Given our culture’s disgusting trend toward sexualizing kids, we cannot assume any place is safe or take anything for granted.”

Kink for kids

Some activists have called for children to be exposed to kink performances at Pride events throughout the month of June. A Washington Post op-ed published in late June celebrated and encouraged exposing children to “kink culture,” such as explicit performances.

“Yes, kink belongs at Pride,” read the headline of writer Lauren Rowello’s WaPo piece. “And I want my kids to see it.”

“Children who witness kink culture are reassured that alternative experiences of sexuality and expression are valid — no matter who they become as they mature, helping them recognize that their personal experiences aren’t bad or wrong, and that they aren’t alone in their experiences,” Rowello wrote.

Joseph Fischel, an associate professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Yale University, wrote in a Boston Globe op-ed that “leather chaps and nipple clamps and boys kissing boys and girls kissing girls” provide models of “living and loving that many kids and teenagers attending Pride have never seen” or have only seen online in pornography.

“When parents or people ventriloquizing parents oppose public indecency at Pride on the grounds that it may upset children, the opposite is more likely the case: their children might like it, and that upsets the parents, not the children,” Fischel wrote.

Drag Queen Story Hours

Drag Queen Story Hours started out as niche events on the West Coast but have since spread to libraries and schools across the U.S. The events are typically designed to be about 45 minutes long for children three to eight years old and intended to help kids explore their gender fluidity through “glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models,” according to the Drag Queen Story Hour’s official website.

“In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real,” the Drag Queen Story Hour’s website states.

The official Drag Queen Story Hour website boasts over 40 independently operated chapters across the U.S., including in New York City, D.C. and Chicago, as well as international chapters in Tokyo, Australia, Europe, and Mexico.

The DCNF attended a February 2020 Drag Queen Story Hour in Washington, D.C. where locals gathered on a Saturday morning to listen to a drag queen named Cake sing songs and read books to children as young as nine months old. Cake spoke in a deep voice and was dressed in silver high heels, a flowing pink wig, elaborate makeup and a glittery leotard outfit that exposed most of the drag queen’s legs.

Redbridge Libraries in London, England, sparked a backlash earlier this summer when it hosted a children’s reading event in July that featured an adult performer dressed in a rainbow monkey costume exposing fake buttocks and a fake penis.

Sexual and gender content in classrooms

Exposing children to kinky Pride events or Drag Queen Story Hours has raised the ire of many social media users, but these are not isolated instances of activists pushing sexual ideology or content on children, activists told the DCNF.

“Obviously, the left is pushing it in our schools, through radical sex ed curricula which is increasingly being targeted at children as young as kindergarten-age,” Schilling said. “Even more nefariously, many schools also have policies that direct teachers and administrators to hide information from parents if their children begin to identify as transgender in the classroom.”

“And as we’ve seen most recently in Virginia,” he said, “school districts are increasingly allowing students to access facilities and participate in programs based on their self-identified gender, opening the door for biological boys to use girls’ private spaces and compete on girls’ sports teams.”

Progressive comprehensive sex education programs examining both sexuality and gender ideology have increasingly come under fire from parents and family advocacy groups nationwide, including in CaliforniaTexasColorado and Maryland.

While some educators insist they are merely teaching children how to be safe, others are much more frank about dismantling children’s traditional understandings of sex and gender.

“One of our jobs as educators is to welcome students’ perspectives into the classroom,” LGBTQ educational consultant Paul Emerich France wrote in a 2019 op-ed. “But we can also dismantle ways of thinking that reinforce the gender dichotomy and heteronormativity, and we must create safe spaces for children to explore their identities and empathize with those who are different from them.”

Organizations like the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) argue that children should be taught progressive sex education because “far too many LGBTQ youth are sitting in classrooms where their teachers and textbooks fail to appropriately address their identities, behaviors and experiences.”

“Nowhere is this absence more clear, and potentially more damaging, than in sex education,” the HRC said. “Sex education can be one of the few sources of reliable information on sexuality and sexual health for youth.”

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the nation’s largest abortion provider, boasts of being “the nation’s largest provider of sex education,” noting that “evidence-based” sex education “delivered by trained professionals” is both “extremely effective and widely supported.”

“I think that’s really why it’s so important because a lot of us have shame, stigma, maybe just general discomfort around sexual health, our own sexuality, how do we talk about it,” Planned Parenthood’s director of education for St. Louis and Southwest Missouri, Michelle Linschoten, said in August 2020. “And so, education is so important to empower us to know ourselves, know what we want and understand and respect each other.”

In early July, the New York Times quoted multiple academics defending former Dalton teacher Justine Ang Fonte who taught a “pornography literacy” course to New York high schoolers, which allegedly touched on “incest-themed” porn, consensual or “vanilla” porn, “barely legal” porn, “kink and BDSM” porn, “waterboard electro” torture porn, and more.

Fonte said she never used the actual word “masturbation” in class, though a cartoon discussed how it feels good to touch one’s genitals.

“I equip them with a way that they can exercise body agency and consent, by knowing exactly what those parts are, what they are called, and how to take care of them,” Fonte told the Times. “That was paired with lessons around, what are the different ways to say ‘no’? And what’s the difference between a secret and a surprise? And why you should never have a secret between a grown-up and you. Because it’s never your responsibility as a child to hold a secret or information of a grown-up.”

Parents also condemned a cartoon video that Fonte showed first graders last fall. The narrator in the cartoon told juvenile audiences, “It’s OK to touch yourself and see how different body parts feel, but it’s best to only do it in private.”

LGBTQ and transgender content in kids’ television

An examination by Business Insider found that children’s shows are increasingly including nonbinary and transgender characters. The publication noted that this is not a coincidence: these shows are created by queer, trans, and nonbinary showrunners.

Out of the top 10 animated kids shows with LGBTQ characters, Business Insider reported, LGBTQ creators account for 65% of this representation. These shows not only include nonbinary or transgender characters but also explain gender theory to children.

The popular children’s network Nickelodeon featured a singing drag queen discussing the colors of the LGBTQ Pride flag to kids, explaining that the light blue, pink and white colors “represent transgender people” while the black and brown colors “represent the queer and trans people of color.”

Nickelodeon’s Nick Jr offered an episode of the popular show Blue’s Clues in which a drag queen narrated a Pride parade, teaching the show’s target audience of kids between 2-10 about pansexual, bisexual, asexual, nonbinary and transgender families, including transgender children.

“It’s time for a Pride parade,” the drag queen says, before singing, “Families marching one by one” to the tune of “The ants go marching.”

“This family has two mommies they love each other so proudly, and they all go marching in the big parade,” the animated drag queen sings.

As recently as last week, Disney Junior aired an episode of “Muppets Babies” (aimed at four to seven-year-olds) in which the Muppet character Gonzo comes out as a transgender princess at a ball.

“Everyone,” Gonzo tells the other characters, “there’s something I need to tell you. The princess who came to your ball tonight was me.”

“I’m Gonzorella,” Gonzo adds, after magically putting on a dress.

“We have featured many types of families in the show over the past nine seasons and we hope this helps to provide kids and fans from all backgrounds an opportunity to identify with our characters and learn from their stories,” Hasbro spokeswoman Julie Duffy told USA Today in 2019 regarding Hasbro’s “My Little Pony” episode featuring a lesbian couple.

Zeke Stokes, chief programs officer at the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), told USA Today that many LGBTQ writers have obtained positions of influence in writing or producing jobs. GLAAD works behind the scenes with such individuals to increase LGBTQ representation in media, Stokes said.

“What we’ve said to them all along is that we will lock arms with you and we will make sure that you hear from the families who are being impacted by this in a positive way,” Stokes told USA Today. “Not only have they heard from LGBTQ families but they’ve heard from other families who are like, yeah, my kid has a friend who’s LGBTQ or my friend goes over to his friend’s house and their parents are LGBTQ. This is not just something that impacts LGBTQ families. It’s really something that gets experienced by everyone in society.”

Activism on social media platforms

December 2020 study found that Snapchat is the most popular social media platform for teenagers, followed closely by the video sharing app TikTok.

Snapchat recently introduced the “Discover” feature, a news and entertainment feature which has come under fire for the amount of progressive material the app offers to users. The 24-hour-lasting Discover stories display news and pop culture content that can cost advertisers around $50,000 a day, according to Wallaroo Media.

The social media app boasted 218 million daily active users worldwide as of the fourth quarter of 2019. Nearly half of those users who watch the Discover feature watch it daily.

Teen Vogue has used the Discover feature to highlight stories such as “How To Get An Abortion If You’re A Teen” as well as “How To Sext: The Best Tips And Tricks.” The sexting story prompted the National Center for Sexual Exploitation to accuse both Snapchat and Teen Vogue of encouraging child porn during quarantine.

The Federalist highlighted a variety of examples to this effect: Seventeen Magazine featuring dancer JoJo Siwa, who “Just Revealed The Identity Of Her Girlfriend,” PinkNews featuring “The Hardest Part About Being A Trans Model,” and an episode of Love Don’t Judge called “We Have Two Bedrooms – One For Each Of My Lovers” about a woman in a polyamorous relationship.

Users can watch episodes from My Extraordinary Family that have included the titles, “I Helped My Dad Transition Into A Woman,” “Trans Parents Won’t Gender Their Kids,” and “We’re Judged For Letting Both Our Kids Transition.”

Activism closer to home

“It’s easy to be on the lookout for ‘activists’ who look like activists — the activist entertainers, celebrities, or protesters,” Catholic Women’s Forum director and Ethics and Public Policy scholar Mary Rice Hasson told the DCNF. “Even the San Francisco Gay Men’s Choir, with their ‘we’re coming for your children’ video.”

Hasson, the author of “Get Out Now: Why You Should Pull Your Child from Public School Before It’s Too Late,” warned that parents need to be even more wary of “the activists within your natural circle of trust” such as your child’s pediatrician, teacher, speech therapist, music teacher, coach, counselor, friend, or youth minister.

“It doesn’t take much to influence kids, especially if the person is already trusted,” Hasson said.

Hasson, a mother of seven, offered examples of activism in a youth group leader, a beloved teacher, and a family pediatrician.

“It’s standard practice for pediatricians to ask mom to step outside the room so the doc can have a few minutes alone with the child,” Hasson said. “The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages physicians to ask children about their gender identity and whether they ‘like boys or girls or both…?’ That’s activism in a white coat, designed to normalize harmful behaviors and treat false ideas as fact.”

A youth group leader may be instructed to ask kids for their gender identity or pronouns, Hasson said, or that youth group leader may share “too much information” about her own sexual identity. A teacher dedicated to being an “ally” to transgender children may call a male child a girl or muse “out loud about the ‘bravery’ of the latest trans celebrity,” Hasson explained, adding, “She’s an activist.”

“Gender ideology is a worldview, a belief system,” Hasson said. “Those who become true believers, and make it their mission to convert others, will be activists. There’s no middle ground here.”

The ACLU and the HRC did not respond to requests for comment for this story.


Mary Margaret Olohan
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Mary Margaret Olohan is a reporter for The Daily Signal.