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Drag queens, dogs, and cats

Drag queen story hours are principally in the interest of drag queens themselves, regardless of the cost to others.

(Image: Cristian S./

As Humpty Dumpty might say, reality has become whatever we say it is. Not to trivialize the gravity of the subject, but I made up a Monty Python-like skit to illustrate the problem of naming things wrongly – using the example of a cat. Later we shall see a far more serious, and all too real, instance of this problem. Here is the skit:

A woman approaches a city official and demands a dog license for her cat.

The official responds: “You have a cat. I can’t give a dog license to a cat.”

The woman objects, “Why not? This is discrimination! I want a dog license.”

The official: “Okay. Then get a dog.”

Woman: “But my cat doesn’t know it’s not a dog.”

Official: “Madame, that is not a problem for the city but for your veterinarian psychologist.”

Woman: “I would not need a veterinarian if only you would give me a dog license.”

Official: “If cats can become dogs, what would a dog license mean?”

Woman: “It would mean whatever you want it to mean – so long as no one gets hurt.”

Official “But what happens if your cat gets sick and you take it to a dog clinic?”

Woman: “As long as I have the dog license, they will have to treat my cat as a dog.”

Official: “Is that good for your cat? If you put a cat in a dog kennel, someone will get hurt – probably the cat.”

Woman: “Not if you make the dogs recognize the cat’s dog license.”

Official: “How are you going to do that?”

Woman: “Penalize the dog owner.”

Official: “What if your cat gets hurt anyway?”

Woman: “I’ll sue.”

Official: “On what grounds?”

Woman: “Violation of equal rights.”

This, of course, is silly, but no sillier than what’s being foisted on us today. Consider the following example – this time with dog denial – that proves reality is stranger than fiction. In 2021, the Dolley Madison branch of the Fairfax County Public Library in McLean, Virginia held one of a number of events for June Pride Month – “Drag StoryBook Hour”.

One of the drag queens had a stuffed dog.

The drag queen asked the children: “What kind of animal am I my holding under my arm?”

A little boy 3 to 4 years of age raised his hand and said: “It’s a dog.”

The drag queen responded: “Nooo, it’s not. It’s a cat.”

Getting upset, the little boy: “No. It’s a dog!”

Drag queen: “No, it’s a cat.”

Little boy: “No, my mommy told me it’s a dog.”

Drag queen: “Well, sometimes things aren’t always what they seem to be.”

An adult, to whom I later spoke, said out loud, “Please don’t confuse the children!”

The drag queen later reacted to a negative reply to a tweet about the event saying, “There are LGBTQIA+ children too. It’s important that they see they aren’t alone, there isn’t anything wrong with them, and it’s safe for other kids to be friends with them! If I had seen this kind of visibility as a kid my life would have been very different and much improved.”

To begin with, there aren’t any 4 to 5-year-old LGBTQIA+ children. So, they can’t very well see that “they aren’t alone” because there aren’t any to see in the first place – which also makes it very hard for other kids to be friends with them. As for the drag queen’s life having been “much improved” if only he had seen something similar as a young child, it’s questionable as to whether it would have enhanced his debating skills, at least not to the point at which he could’ve bested a 4 to 5-year-old.

As a Monty Python skit, the Drag Story Hour would be humorous, but it is far less amusing as a real incident during which little children are intimidated from naming things as they are. “This kind of visibility,” offered by the drag queen, only occludes vision and teaches the children that what they see is not what they get. Its intention is to blind them to reality, to what is.

Drag queens, along with those publicly living out various gender or same-sex fantasies, strive for high “visibility” for what isn’t there. It is in their interests to get others to acknowledge the presence of what isn’t there. It reinforces their unreality and makes them more secure in it. So, drag queen story hours are principally in the interest of drag queens themselves.

“See, moms and dads of America,” they seem to be saying, “here we are vamping and dancing in front of your children, flaunting our women’s garb, makeup and tinsel, and reading them stories with the full imprimatur of the American Library Association. So, if you have a problem with this, there must be something wrong with you, certainly not with us!” Drag queens seek self-affirmation regardless of the cost to others.

What is the little boy supposed to make of a man dressed as a woman telling him stories and repeatedly insisting that the stuffed dog, which the little boy plainly sees, is not a dog? What attitude toward the world is that supposed to engender in the child? To make him secure in it or to confuse him about it? The woman who had asked that they stop confusing the children spoke with the director of the event afterword. She reports: “He angrily told me that if I was concerned about the well-being of children I should write to the Pope.”

This is a revealing remark for it would seem that the director is unaware that one could discern what was wrong with the event through the natural moral law alone. The Pope is not needed for that. Aristotle and Cicero would do. However, perhaps the director’s remark is not too wide of the mark because it is the Catholic Church that remains the staunchest supporter of natural law, which is why it is seen as the enemy.

What happens to a society that allows this?

(Editor’s note: This essay was slightly edited and expanded after its initial posting.)

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About Robert R. Reilly 20 Articles
Robert R. Reilly was Senior Advisor for Information Strategy (2002-2006) for the US Secretary of Defense, after which he taught at National Defense University. He was the director of the Voice of America (2001-2002) and served in the White House as a Special Assistant to the President (1983-1985). A graduate of Georgetown University and the Claremont Graduate University, his books include The Closing of the Muslim Mind, Making Gay Okay, and Surprised by Beauty: A Listener's Guide to the Recovery of Modern Music. His most recent book, America on Trial: A Defense of the Founding, is published by Ignatius Press.


  1. I don’t blame the library. I don’t blame the drag queen. Why? Because examples of the reality of Original Sin are present everywhere we look.

    I DO blame parents for subjecting their children to the examples of Original Sin that abound. Such examples are present in government-run schools, television programs, cinema, and in cyberspace. Do the parents of children who live in Northern Virginia set their children loose to play in traffic on Interstate Route 66 that traverses Fairfield County? Government cannot and will not protect your children, so stop expecting them to. If government had the best interest of children in its non-existent heart, it wouldn’t fight to murder them by abortion. Wake up, parents.

    • Truly, if no one showed up for these events, they would soon cease. They continue because some parents indulge in virtue signaling at their children’s expense.

      • Yes the old story of supply and demand. The same goes for abortion. If you educate there will be less demand. Legislation is so idealized as a solution, but it is only a fickle bandaid which will be shed at the next whim of power politics. Education is a lot more powerful and lasting than legislation. This also goes for the current LGBTQ craze. God bless

    • Well in the case of a library in a town down the road from me I do blame the library. And the librarian specifically because they had a child who was same sex attracted & the librarian engineered events like a drag queen story hour because of that. Thankfully there was a public meeting & much local opposition & protest & the event was cancelled.

    • Why in the world would you give the library and the drag queen a pass? Even if they (are irresponsible–a relative term–and worse, they are still culpable and accountable. Anyone who has a hand in this sort of depravity should be confronted and squelched.

  2. While only liking/seeing a small handful of Monty Python stuff, the comparison you offer is well thought of. It’s one big joke…only it isn’t, and our kids are paying the price.

  3. “What happens to a society that allows this?”
    Unfortunately our society not only “allows” this but actively -promotes- it, often through coercion.

  4. Every Cathilic is a member of the MYSTICAL BODY OF CHRIST, that means LIFE IS SACRAT for each one of us! “If you love me, keep my COMMANDMENTS!” John 14:15! Thus, none of us shoudl join anything that is of Anti GOD’S COMMANDMENTS!
    “So, because you are lukewarm — neither hot or cold, i will vomite you out from my mouth!” Reve. 3: 16-17

  5. Indoctrination of perverse moral evil enforced and protected by government led by its executive, the president with collaboration of the president of the American Federation of Teachers spells the demise of Christian culture, its replacement by a culture of the satanic. An advent of dark purpose for creating a modern Sodom and Gomorrah.
    Most egregious is the imposition of this evil on children. If they are not slaughtered by surgical abortion, refused life by abortifacients the survivors are destined to be murdered morally. Complacency among the rest of us, including presbyters and bishops as well as Catholic laity [most of whose stats show are effectively in compliance with this evil shown in their vote] is deadening as well. This is not hyperbole. It’s reality. Its refusal to be recognized is a form of moral schizophrenia.
    “Drag queens, along with those publicly living out various gender or same-sex fantasies, strive for high ‘visibility’ for what isn’t there” (Robert R Reilly).
    What isn’t there is designed to replace in toto. “What happens to a society that allows this?” (Ibid). Unfortunately imminent disastrous retribution. Fortunately the end of this and like abomination.

  6. Problem today is the never ending, ongoing destruction of moral and theological Christian guardrails that created our civilization. Very few are willing to say we got to stop this nonsense. So we are now at the beginning of a new anti Judeo-Christian, pro neo pagan culture/civilization with no idea of the destruction that we are heading into.

  7. The ulterior motive of the Marriage Protection Act is to force parochial schools into allowing married, openly LGBTQ persons to teach there. Then comes the shrug of mediocre Catholics of Catholic teachings on sex, encouragement of minors to believe they are LGBTQ, forced teaching of the LGTBQ in Sex Ed and then Woke Progress as History and Social Science. A complete dissolving of the meaning of a Catholic Education.

    • Thanks for a most interesting comment.

      It is my understanding that most parochial schools educating children are connected to a local Catholic parish. If a teacher tries to promote a non-Catholic agenda in the classroom, what is to prevent the pastor from sitting in on classes after parents complain, and then offering rebuttals? Such rebuttals could begin by explaining to the children that the pastor will be using some unfamiliar terms, which he will explain prior to the rebuttal. Such terms could include “asinine” and “hogwash”. The etymology of these terms would be an added bonus. The teacher is unlikely to endure this priestly exercise of free speech for long.

  8. I wish our bishops had this kind of common sense and courage. Thank you, Mr. Reilly. I knew you along time ago and continue to admire you.

  9. This quote has helped me:
    “Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate;
    and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.

    Theodore Dalrymple (i’m pretty sure)

  10. Great article! As for the ridiculous event at the library in Virginia parents might have identified this event as a real-life “fairy” tale. The evil man who seeks to confuse and change the world with words. And the hero, that little boy who insisted the toy was a dog, who was able to reveal truth and save the day.

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