This is a slightly different topic than what I usually post on. It's not on a lost place for women per se, but a place that is seemingly no longer defined as limited to men and women or adults in general but for "anyone."
I'm referring to gay bars. Specifically kids in LGBT bars.
And I don't mean teenagers who sneak in with a fake ID. Yes, we all know about them. Some of us even have fond memories of doing so.
That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about kids who are not even teenagers yet, 12 years of age and under. All under the rubric of being "drag kids" or "trans kids."
What kind of crap is this?
For the sake of argument, let's assume that there is such a thing as transgender kids, kids who are firmly convinced they are not the gender they were seemingly assigned, and that they absolutely know this now and for all time (actually, the research doesn't unambiguously confirm this at all, but let's assume this is true).
What is a "woke" parent to do? I suppose you could allow your trans daughter to dress in ways that are age-appropriate for other 10- or 12-year-old girls. And it shouldn't necessarily label you a fundamentalist nut job if you don't care for your preteen girls dressing in short shorts, tube tops, or t-shirts with sexually suggestive sayings. How about a little pink, a few sparkly shirts, a cute dress for special occasions? That seems reasonable. Responsible parents intervene in how their kids are dressed everyday, believe it or not.
Well, no. That's not what it's about.
There are some parents--largely narcissistic attention seekers in my experience--who go well beyond this. They "allow" (encourage, subtly coerce?) their trans daughters into the whole drag queen scene, dressing in a way that is far from age appropriate. And that even means even parading them in gay bars and having them perform there.
Frankly, if you were to push your "cis'' daughter into such a scene, having her "perform" at a "gentleman's club," you could look forward to a CPS visit or a serious custody fight, especially if you're a single mother, who tend to be judged very harshly in our culture.
And you're double-screwed as a parent if you aren't college educated, middle-class, and/or white, and able to articulate why such behavior is really okay and kewl in the latest "gender queer" lingo.
But if you can link pimping your kid as a "performer" to a gay bar, it's all good. Right? Anybody who even raises the respectful questions about how appropriate this is will be smeared as right-wing despite their actual politics, an awful TERF, transphobic, or homophobic. No questions allowed!
I once had the temerity to question whether this was appropriate on Facebook, and within no time, there were texts to my employer demanding I be fired. So much for community discussion.
Who acts like this?
I know from long, painful personal experience who acts like this. Abusers act like this. Abusers who more than anything want to deflect attention away from what they are doing to their kids or the kids they have access to, so they attack anybody who they perceive as a threat to their actions. If I had any doubts before the attempt to get me fired (it didn't work), I was convinced afterwards.
After this incident, I was more convinced than ever that the parents behind "drag kids" are in most cases the same "show biz" parents that have always existed, the ones who are vicariously living through their children for attention, validation, "approval"--and frankly, money.
Parents like this typically have narcissistic personalities where they fail to recognize what their own children want or need, despite often loud declarations to the contrary.
And I have seen NO explanations from any of these parents of "drag kids" where they explain how they keep these kids safe, or that it's even a concern.
Oh sure, if pushed, they'll make a big show of concern. But the reason the topic is not brought up is that they really don't care.
Nor do certain LGBT "activists" who have been carefully groomed to not ask questions, give unconditional approval no matter what, and generally act as the narcissistic parents' "flying monkeys" and attack anyone who doesn't cheer along on demand.
Let's ask some questions.
1) If trans women are women, and trans girls are girls, then why is it acceptable to treat these girls in a way that would never be acceptable for so-called cis girls? Why the double standard? Why do these parents of "trans kids" get applause, while any parent (especially a mother) doing this to a non-trans kid is subject to CPS intervention, loss of custody, or even jail? Especially if you're poor or a person of color and can't afford the fancy lawyers.
2) Why is there an absolute denial and inability among too many in the LGBT "community" to treat the sexual abuse of children as a serious issue? Why do so many act as hypocrites, pointing fingers at Catholic priests or Republican congressmen, but going into outraged denials if anybody points out that sexual abuse can happens in ANY home, neighborhood, organization, etc., and that the LGBT community is not magically exempt?
3) If you are so concerned about smears by conservatives regarding gay pedophiles or child sexual abusers, why do you resist even the most commonsense, minimal guidelines to keep kids safe?
4) Who started this line that "all" members of the LGBT community must approve of kids performing in gay bars, or they are not members in good standing? I have asked around, and I think this is a myth being shoved down our throats by a minority of disturbed individuals with an agenda (or people groomed by the same). I even did a survey once in a gay bar, and NOT ONE PERSON I spoke to believed that young kids belonged in gay bars. Period. Believe it or not, many of us are parents ourselves. We have nieces and nephews. We are teachers or work with youth. And we think there is some serious bullshit going on here.
5) If it's so safe for "drag kids" to perform, then how is it you ignore the substantial evidence that even adult performers are subject to sexual harassment, abuse, and rape? Do you have any real guidelines, suggestions, or proposals for keeping kids safe when even adults are not necessarily safe?
6) At least in the US, you can't work with children without an official child abuse clearance--even if you work in university administration and rarely come into contact with college freshmen, much less anyone younger. When these "drag kids" perform at bars, do you require bouncers, bartenders, waitstaff, etc. to obtain clearances? What about patrons? Why or why not? When abusers even manage to slip into youth organizations despite all the precautions, how is it you think you'll have different results in a setting that was designed for adult entertainment, with no institutionalized precautions whatsoever for the well being of children?
7) What kinds of supervision do you require for these performers, other than the narcissistic parents who don't show much tangible evidence of really caring about the well being of their kids? Do you want to assign them guardians? Why or why not?
8) Since you deny that the sexual abuse of children could possibly occur in the LGBT community, what happens if these kids come forward with abuse allegations? Do you label them as liars, troublemakers, so the show can go on with no interruptions?
9) Do you really know that the child wants to perform at all? Or are they being pushed? Abusive parents can be very subtle about these things. Yes, the kid may publicly say they like performing, but that is not really meaningful if the parent is subtly (or not so subtly) withholding love and approval unless the child behaves as they wish. Watch one of these parents fly into a narcissistic rage if the child says they just wants to play soccer or run around outside like any other kid. These parents aren't going to get all kinds of strokes for that, are they?
10) How is it you ignore that many of us in the LGBT community have experienced sexual abuse, either personally and/or as a protective parent/teacher/reporter trying to keep children safe? Why is it we are being silenced? Those of us who have been through "the system" know full well--contrary to what you may think--that it is very hard to protect kids and get any justice for them. Too often, CPS, the police, the family courts, actually back up the abusers, especially if they have money, and the accusers are only women or kids. Too many of us have found this out the hard way.
There are many of us who are aghast at what's happening to LGBT politics, but given the death/rape/financial threats, we have not gone public.
But we are not going away. And we will not shut up.