Only in New York City in 2022 can a politician be castigated for not wanting young school-age children to be subjected to sexual themes in the classroom.
Republican Councilwoman Vickie Paladino is facing backlash from Mayor Eric Adams and fellow council members over her remarks concerning drag woman coming into the lower grades of elementary schools to read during story time.
“Progressives may have no problem with child grooming and sexualization, but I do,” Paladino tweeted on Wednesday stated. “This will not happen on my watch. Kids deserve a quality education free from political manipulation and sexual content,” as she linked to a New York Post story about increased funding to expand the program.
Paladino’s grooming comment seems to have triggered the outrage from the far left wing of the Democratic party.
“Drag storytellers, and the libraries and schools that support them, are advancing a love of diversity, personal expression, and literacy that is core to what our city embraces.”
The City Council’s LGBTQIA+ Caucus is asking for Paladino to be removed from her committee assignments and formally censured.
“I stand with all of my Council colleagues, LGBTQ+ communities, and New Yorkers in unequivocally denouncing Council Member Paladino’s repugnant views and statements against specific members of the Council and the trans community,” Council Speaker Adrienne Adams said. “A New Yorker’s choice of dress, gender expression or identity must be not only protected legally, but also against vile, hateful attacks.”
This is what constitutes a scandal in 2022.
A brief history on drag women informs the reader that it is purely an entertainment vehicle, which has no ties to the trans community. It is a hyper-sexual exaggeration of the female form performed sometimes by gay men.
As RuPaul once said, “I do not impersonate females! How many women do you know who wear seven-inch heels, four-foot wigs, and skintight dresses? – I don’t dress like a woman; I dress like a drag queen.”
So to give young children this image as promoting gender identity will certainly cause more confusion than acceptance. The fact that parents are not alerted to their child’s participation in the program is also very problematic to me.
Perhaps Paladino should have trimmed the “grooming” reference, which appears to have triggered much of the backlash, however if you conducted a poll of parents with young children in NYC schools about this, a good majority would agree with the latter part of her tweet.
Full disclosure Paladino is my representative on the City Council.