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A listing for Drag Queen Story Time is seen in the September/October issue of the Lafayette Public Library's newsletter called Book Talk Tuesday, August 21, 2018, in Lafayette, La.

We all want acceptance and validation for the choices we make in life. It's no different for drag queens. Drag queens must know all there is about ridicule, harassment and scorn. They must face the very worst of humanity. Regardless of where you come down on issues of gender confusion, this much is true: Everyone deserves to be treated with kindness.

While the need for validation is understandable, targeting young children for it is wrong. And that's preciously what's happening on Oct. 6, when "Drag Queen Story Hour" comes to the Lafayette Public Library.

Delta Lambda Phi fraternity of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, asked to hold "Drag Queen Story Hour." It's an event for kids, ages 3 to 6. Delta Lambda Phi describes itself as an international social fraternity for gay, bisexual, transgender and progressive men.

Delta Lambda Phi Vice President Brad Parfait says drag queens will be reading stories to kids about the importance of accepting classmates and their families who may come from nontraditional households.

“If they encounter something like a classmate who has two dads or two moms, maybe they’ll know what that is, and how to respond to it,” said Parfait.

After the drag queens read a story to the children, they'll be treated to a “miniature” drag show that organizers say will teach kids about why some people chose to do drag. Parfait says that many "sexuality and gender non-normative" members of Delta Lambda Phi experienced bullying and harassment growing up, so he’s looking forward to sharing a message of inclusion to the next generation.

“We want to express to the kids that no matter who you may be, that you can be yourself, and be authentic.”

“We decided it would be a good way to talk about differences and acceptance,” said Lafayette Public Library Director Teresa Elberson.

In April, Lafayette voters rejected a tax proposal that would have gone to the library. They expect to try again next year. Holding a drag queen story hour for 3- to 6-year olds in conservative Acadiana will not help. Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux wants the public library to cancel the event.

Social media has already begun to react to "Drag Queen Story Hour" coming to Lafayette. Local resident Lynn Naquin wrote on her Facebook page, "This is OUTRAGEOUS — a DRAG QUEEN story time planned for 3-6 yr olds at the Lafayette Public Library! It’s time we TOOK A STAND against this leftist liberal mentality of influencing our young children that this is widely accepted!!!"

Drag queen story hours have become more common across the country. Last summer, in New Orleans, the Algiers Point Hubbell library hosted a drag queen story hour for kids ages 2 to 6. Drag Queen Kimberly Clark said of that event, "Drag queens show kids they can be anything they want to be. It doesn't matter what body you were born into, you can dress up how you want. "

At a recent American Library Association annual conference in New Orleans, the organization promoted events like the one happening in Lafayette. It referred its members to the official website of Drag Queen Story Hours. The group describes itself as capturing the “imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood” and giving children “unabashedly queer role models” so kids can “imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress-up is real.”

Mayor wants Lafayette drag queen reading event for children at public library canceled

Organizers of Drag Queen Story Hours also sell a book entitled, “Dragtivity Book." It targets children between the ages of 4 and 12. It “gives kids an inside look into what it’s like to be a drag queen,” encouraging “children and the adults in their lives to continue exploring drag and gender together” through activities such as “Create your own drag name” and “Circle your pronouns.”

It's heartbreaking to think some parents will allow their young kids to be exposed to this agenda. It's infuriating that it's happening at a public library funded by tax dollars.

It's a shame that for some, validation is so important, they're willing to steal away our kids' innocence. Let's allow kids to be kids. The last thing a 3- to 6-year-old child should be worried about is gender confusion.

Email Dan Fagan at faganshow@gmail.com.