World of Winter 2024 Festival

By Mark Ratering

On February 3, World of Winter 2024 festival in Grand Rapids will be hosting a 
“family friendly” drag show.  Kent County GOP condemns the promotion of children being exposed to adults acting out their sexual fetishes and further condemns the usage of public funds to do so.

It is the responsibility of parents to provide their children with a healthy, solid foundation of what is normal.  The purpose of “family friendly” drag shows, drag queen story hour, and curriculum related to gender ideology in schools is to disrupt this idea of “normal”, as it is seen as oppressive.  In her seminal 1984 essay that began the field of queer theory, “Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality”, Gayle Rubin laments the stigma placed upon fetishists and pedophiles:

“Modern Western societies appraise sex acts according to a hierarchical system of sexual value. Marital, reproductive heterosexuals are alone at the top of the erotic pyramid. ... The most despised sexual castes currently include … fetishists, … and the lowliest of all, those whose eroticism transgresses generational boundaries.”

Regarding Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH), in their 2021 paper, “Drag pedagogy: The playful practice of queer imagination in early childhood”, Harper Keenan & Lil Miss Hot Mess (board member, DQSH) write that the purpose of the event has nothing to do with homosexuals being accepted in everyday society but is instead to confuse children then “transform” them:

“Building in part from queer theory and trans studies, queer and trans pedagogies seek to actively destabilize the normative function of schooling through transformative education … This is a fundamentally different orientation than movements towards the inclusion or assimilation of LGBT people into the existing structures of school and society.”

They later continue, clarifying that they do not believe "family friendly" is a term that indicates anything about the event being developmentally appropriate in nature, but rather that it is a way to prepare the minds of the children to view these fetishists as potential family:

“As drag has moved further into the mainstream, some have questioned whether this queer art form has lost its edge. In discussing the work of DQSH within our social circles, we have occasionally encountered critiques that DQSH is sanitizing the risqué nature of drag in order to make it “family friendly.” We do not share this pessimistic view. … It may be that DQSH is “family friendly,” in the sense that it is accessible and inviting to families with children, but it is less a sanitizing force than it is a preparatory introduction to alternate modes of kinship. Here, DQSH is “family friendly” in the sense of “family” as an old-school queer code to identify and connect with other queers on the street.”

In their own words these activists tell us that these events are part of a movement to disrupt functioning society and are targeting traditional family structures.

Kent County GOP does not believe that this is healthy or safe.  Instead, join us for our wholesome alternatives. Please bring the kids, grandkids, nieces, and nephews, and join event coordinators Lynne Shepherd and Pam Hooker at our upcoming Freedom Story Hour events where children enjoy patriotically themed books, arts & crafts and other truly kid-friendly activities.  Keep connected with our social media to stay informed about our upcoming events, including Freedom Story Hours.