Sunday, April 28, 2013

Six Year Olds and Drag Queens

This morning for work, the professer I partnered with last semester and I took some of our students to Drag Brunch at Perry's in Adam's Morgan. It was a lot of fun, even though it's a little pricey and you need to get there pretty early. A great show, about ten ladies each of whom performed twice, and an impressive variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Admittedly, men dressing up as women and dancing on me still throws me off a bit (I made the mistake of sitting at the seat along the walkway, a dangerous move), but that is, essentially, what I came for. Okay, well, actually, we came to sociologically observe an optimization of gender as a performative action, but whatever.

Anyway, in the corner of the room there was a little boy. The first time I noticed him he was handing a dollar bill to one of the performers which made me whip around and stare wide-eyed at my professer, which was supposed to communicate "What the hell? Why is there a little kid here?" She got the message, but just sort of shrugged and ignored me. As the show went on, the boy continued to be sent down with bills. The point, let me clarify, is that you give queen a bill and she dances on or at you for a moment. Many of the performers clearly did not know what to do with the kid, obviously you can't dance on him. One of the queens, Justin, who talked to the audience for a while called the kid over.

"What is your name?" Justin asked.
"Isaiah," he answered.
"And how old are you, Isaiah?"
"Are you having fun?"

Good, because it's important that the six-year-old be having fun at the sex parade.
I turned back around to my professer, making another face. Instead of the "Wow," I expected, she said that his parents were probably here a lot and it just isn't a big deal to them or him.

Now I have mixed feelings. On one hand, yes, I think sex is absurdly under-discussed and, quite frankly, over-sexualized in our society. And part of me feels like this restaurant is a really open, friendly, and welcoming place where there were all sorts of patrons, performers, and staff. But the other side of me questions the appropriateness of a drag queen bouncing splits on the ground with gigantic fake breasts falling out of a few bedazzled coverings three feet away from a six-year-old. And I wonder why his parents thought that would be good. I wonder more why they think he should be the one to run over and hand the performers money.

I know I want to say that it is great that we can be that open about sex and the human experience, but I don't think I believe that. There's a difference between explaining the emotions and biology associated with sex and letting a Kindergartener watch porn. At least, they stil seem different to me.

No comments:

Post a Comment