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Nashua (NH) Public Library Offers “Drag Queen Teen Time”; Raises Big Concerns

January 11, 2019

Though it’s described as “an opportunity for Teens to meet a drag performer in person and ask questions about their art, costuming, makeup,” a meet-a-real-drag-queen event designed for teens and offered by the Nashua Public Library has some folks in the city wondering if it is appropriate. The event is scheduled for Saturday afternoon, January 12.

The Nashua Telegraph reports that about 20 concerned citizens attended the library’s trustees meeting Tuesday night to voice their concerns about the event that features a drag performer, who performs under the name Monique Toosoon. The Telegraph reports that the trustees decided to speak about the event but not open the floor for public discussion.

According to the Telegraph, Library Director Jen McCormack wrote in an email:

“A program like this is an excellent way for anyone to get accurate, first-hand information about a current topic that gets a lot of coverage in the media. […]Like any of our programs, it is strictly voluntary, and we expect that families will make decisions for their own children about whether they may attend. I know that this program will not be welcomed by everyone, but I stand by it as an appropriate and timely program for our teens.”

But the statement still did not completely abate the concerns of Stephen Scaer and his wife, Beth Scaer, who attended Tuesday’s meeting and who think the event encourages gender confusion and degrades sexuality to mere entertainment.

“What they’re doing is they’re telling kids, ‘hey this is a good lifestyle,’ – someone who mocks women, portrays them as sexual objects – so it’s misogynist, and ‘hey kid, you can do this too, you can become a drag queen and sexualize women and mock women and lead this disgusting lifestyle,'” Beth Scaer told the Telegraph, which was echoed in her husband’s comment to the paper.

“My bigger objection is that there’s just been a lot of suffering because of people treating sex as recreation, and if you go to the drag shows that’s what you see,” Stephen Scaer reportedly said.

Meanwhile, NHCornerstone, [caution: possibly offensive image shown at link] a pro-life and pro-traditional marriage organization that was apparently contacted by some of the concerned parents involved, reports that one of its lawyers filed a request under NH’s Right-to-Know law to obtain emails exchanged between library officials and Monique Toosoon. NHCornerstone reports one email from a librarian suggests the event is more than a mere Q&A session. NHCornerstone writes:

From Ashlee Norwood, Teen Librarian, in an email sent from her nashualibrary.org email address to Robert Bouchard, the man whose stage name and persona is “Monique Toosoon:”

“We wanted to start small with the teens to see what the reaction would be because there are horror stories about libraries being protested, cops called in, and the whole bad shebang….  But this Facebook blow up has made my heart so happy that there are so many supporters!!!! We were already looking at a kid’s Drag Queen Storytime sometime in the Spring and this positive feedback has dang-near solidified that idea!”

In light of this and other emails, NHCornerstone writes that “Drag Queen Teen Time” is “not an event that’s about costuming or acting. It’s not even about outreach to LGBT+ youth. This is about grooming minors and normalizing sexual behavior that – for now – is culturally still ‘adults-only.’”

According to the Telegraph, Toosoon has received serious criticism for the event. The paper reports that Toosoon’s appearance Saturday will be “completely censored, right down to her costume. In addition, she [sic] said her [sic] goal is to help, even at least one person, to feel comfortable with who they are.”

“I don’t understand why the group is ignoring this message and just trashing me,” Toosoon told the Telegraph. “Everyone will see on Saturday that this is truly a positive event. […] There’s no way you can leave Saturday thinking this won’t be beneficial to a teenager.”

 

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