A Christian church in suburban Kansas City is hosting a drag queen story hour Saturday for kids, according to documents obtained by The Heartlander.
The calendar of events for Saint Andrew Christian Church in Olathe lists a “Drag Queen Story Hour” for kids from 1-3 p.m. Saturday.
In addition, organizer David Whitner’s GoFundMe page to pay for the event acknowledges that “I’m raising funds to host Drag Queen Story Time at Saint Andrew Christian Church on Saturday, May 13, 2023. A cast of drag performers will read stories and host activities for children and their parents at this free event to be held from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.”
The page admits that drag queen events for kids make news “because some parties believe that the presence of these drag queens will confuse and challenge the understanding these kids will have about gender identity or sexual orientation.”
Not to worry, the page assures readers:
“Rather, this event is intended to entertain first and demonstrate the value of diversity and healthy curiosity second. A child attending this event can appreciate that grown-ups can be silly and play dress up.”
But the fundraising page suggests the event is about more than entertaining children with men dressed as women. It’s to make the drag queens feel more welcome in church.
The children are safer with drag queens than the drag queens have felt in church, Whitner writes.
“As most of the entertainers who will be present are LGBTQ+, this event may help heal some of the rejection too often brought by organized religion. I have shared in a Facebook group that the children will be safer in the presence of the drag queens than some of the drag queens would in far too many churches.”
The fundraising page notes that “such a joyful, joyous event comes with some material costs. The presenters should be compensated for their work.” In addition, “To make this event a fully interactive one for the children and their parents, we’d like to offer at least one crafts project. Your donations will minimize the financial burden on the church venue and my out-of-pocket costs.”
As of Thursday afternoon, the page had raised $900 of its $3,000 goal.
The Heartlander attempted to reach the church’s Rev. Dr. Chris Wilson via phone and email to ask how a drag queen event is appropriate for children, particularly in a church, when the phenomenon of drag queens is of a particularly sexual nature. We asked, as well, what the value is to the children.
Whitner’s LinkedIn page lists him as secretary for PFLAG-KC, formerly known as Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. In a 2022 story for National Coming Out Day by a Kansas City television station, Whitner lamented “book bans” and prohibitions on biological males competing in girls’ and women’s sports, such as those passed recently in both Kansas and Missouri.