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Guilt by association

and the attack on Women's Rights Network and concerned parents paid for by our own governments

It’s a funny old world isn’t it. More so than usual at the moment, when women are bigots if we can recognise a man when we see one.

And if we have the temerity to notice that drag shows are misogynistic and not suitable for small children we’re contributing to “anti-drag mobilization” and are worthy of mention in “A Year of Hate: Understanding Threats and Harassment Targeting Drag Shows and the LGBTQ+ Community”.

This report has been produced by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue. An organisation with a seriously impressive set of partners and funders including Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and various Australian, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, New Zealand, Norwegian, Swedish, Swiss, UK and US Government departments plus an impressive array of big tech names. It’s quite a list.

So what are these partners and funders getting for their money?

The short answer is a very thin report suggesting that objections to “all-ages” drag shows (in other words, drag shows for children) are a proxy for “anti-LGBTQ+ hate and extremism”:

due to the public association of drag with queer communities, analysing anti-drag mobilization does provide useful insight into the key actors engaged in anti- LGBTQ+ activism as well as the key narratives and tactics used to attack these communities

The report claims (but fails to demonstrate) that:

“Hate targeting LGBTQ+ is often influenced by deeply- rooted prejudices … This can be seen, for example, in anti-migrant activism, where international networks have mobilised to oppose migration, and a base prejudice is exacerbated by opportunistic alliances and information manipulation tactics. Activity targeting drag events in a range of different countries - mostly those tailored for child audiences, such as Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) events - demonstrates how this mobilisation works, and the attendant risks to those hosting, performing in or attending LGBTQ+ events in public.”

You get the general idea. Standard forced teaming of LGB with TQ+, and the assertion that “hate” for LGBTQ+ is just like anti-migrant activism and the real reason for opposition to Drag Queen Story Hour.

The entire report is a masterclass in implication and guilt by association.

Starting with its name, this report simply asserts that there is a hotbed of extremist anti-drag right-wing activism that threatens not just drag artists but the entire “queer community” and by extension lesbians, gay men, transgender people and anyone who is gender non-conforming.

This is, of course, nonsense, and completely ignores that it is overwhelmingly drag shows for children – often very young children and even babies – that are the concern. The reference to gender non-conforming people is frankly baffling.

Much is made of the right-wing credentials of “key actors”. We’re told that those objecting to drag are far-right, white supremacists, neo-Nazis, conspiracy theorists and COVID-19 sceptics – the implication being that if anyone objecting to drag events for children is found to have any association with any of these groups, everyone objecting to drag events for children must be aligned with one or more of these groups.

Any parents with actual concerns are firmly discredited with scare quotes and accused of being dishonest about their motives:

groups purporting to be composed of parents concerned about children being exposed to “gender ideology” or drag performers have become major players in the anti-drag ecosystem. These groups typically use the “protecting children” narrative

Women explaining our objections to drag are dismissed as transphobic, and our objections on safeguarding grounds are ignored. That we point out its inherent misogyny and homophobia is just another opportunity to dismiss us:

The gender critical group Women’s Rights Network attended an anti-drag protest in Glastonbury. This group promotes transphobic tropes and views DQSH as misogynistic and homophobic.

Maybe the ISD researchers read our WRN write up on the Glastonbury protest - they’ve been careful to avoid claiming that we protested the event - and noted that we took the time to talk to people and understand what they believed. They could have contacted Women’s Rights Network and spoken to us about what we believe. But they did not.

There is, of course, no evidence at all that concerned parents or women’s groups are far-right. It’s simply a smear. Even being “right-leaning” is considered a problem by the authors because “right-wing” mostly means “evil” for these people.

But we can all play the guilt-by-association game.

The creator of Drag Queen Story Hour UK, Sab Samuel, is mentioned in the report as the victim of protests. A few facts about Sab:

Other drag queens have questionable back stories too, like the Drag Queen in prison for child trafficking.

And the Drag Queen caught grooming a 14-year-old in a sting.

And the Drag Queen Story Hour activist arrested for child pornography.

Should we assume that the Institute for Strategic Dialogue is stuffed full of paedophiles if they are supporting these men?

Has anyone told the high-profile partners and funders of this report that they are paying to defend men who are guilty of some of the very worst offences?

Have any of them even bothered read it?

They’re right though - we are dangerous.

The truth is that concerned women and parents are dangerous to the TQ+ movement, because we are the people who will not accept their lies. We’re dangerous because we have made written records of our objections that can’t be answered.

This is why we’re being traduced.

Because we’re standing on the truth, and we’re not afraid to say so in public.

We’re holding the line.



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