CBC, Canada's state-funded broadcaster, attempted to quell the flames surrounding drag queen events for children earlier this week by releasing an excruciatingly awkward segment featuring five children being forced to have stilted conversations with two drag queens.
The New Brunswick drag performers chosen by Canada’s national broadcaster for the task of convincing the public that there’s nothing at all creepy about thrusting a sexual adult form of entertainment onto young children were Rose Beef and Barb Wire.
Interestingly, Barb Wire is a woman. One suspects this was an unintentional acknowledgement of the fact that men dressed as outlandish versions of woman is a bit unsettling for young children, so they threw in some balance by choosing a woman. To help settle the nerves, make the kids less uncomfortable.
The segment opens with two tiny girls timidly approaching a woman who looks as though she’s just plonked an enormous yellow wig on her head after surviving the explosion of a Maybelline factory.
Then we cut to a squirming ten-year-old girl being asked to guess the age of a man whose face is barely visible under an thick mask of makeup, who also has an extravagant wig towering on his head.
Next up is a boy being asked why he is nervous, and all he can muster in response is, “I’ve never met anyone that’s not….I can’t really explain.” Of course he can’t. He’s a child. How could he possibly articulate the discomfort he feels about being used as a pawn in an adult political game.
Another girl is asked how it feels to be meeting a drag queen for the first time, and naturally she answers that she’s a little bit nervous.
At this point, we should all be asking ourselves what exactly the children are getting out of this. What are they gaining by being forced to endure these torturous questions? It’s obvious what the adults are getting out of it. They’re enjoying using young children as a prop to force their political agenda down the throats of the Canadian public.
But why is seemingly nobody involved thinking about the children?
After the fun game of “guess how old the drag queen is,” the 10-year-old confesses to being “a little bit nervous. It’s just different and new.”
“I’ve never seen a drag queen before,” she says.
“And what do you think?” she is asked.
“I think it’s cool,” is her very unconvincing response.
The awkwardness, the nervousness, the pointless vapid conversations continue, and never once does a child look entranced or engaged.
A perusal of the social media accounts of these adult performers masquerading as children’s entertainers turns up the inevitable sexually explicit photographs. Now while it’s highly unlikely that any of these kids will return home inspired by the weird creepy adult they’ve just been forced to talk to on camera, let's just say that near-impossibility were reality.
The sweet innocent nine-year-old gets home and enters “Rose Beef” into a search engine, makes their way onto the performers Facebook page, and then sees images such as this one.
The insipid, sanitised conversation this child just had with the performer may not have been sexual, but if we are to believe that the child found the experience exciting and fun, isn’t it conceivable that they might want to see more of this entertainer?
Imagine if well-loved children’s entertainer Raffi had a public social media profile with sexually explicit content such as this, for any innocent child to stumble across while searching for a rendition of Down by the Bay. If it wouldn’t be okay for Raffi, why is it okay for the likes of Rose Beef?
At the end of the cringe-inducing CBC segment, one of the sweet, tiny girls declares that she wants to be best friends with Barb Wire, who has this sort of content on full display on her Facebook page.
The segment ends with the children making valiant attempts to seem interested in the dull individuals whose garish, eccentric attire does nothing to disguise their lack of personality and warmth, followed by the painful moment when Rose Beef asks the 10-year-old girl if she has a favourite drag performer.
When she answers that she hasn’t really seen many drag queens so doesn’t know yet, Rose asks, “can I be your favourite performer then?”
Because that’s what this whole gruelling experience has all been about. Massaging the egos of these drag performers who for some inexplicable reason seem to have a burning desire to read stories to children, while guilting the Canadian public into accepting that part of living in a good, progressive country is exposing young children on a regular basis to men wearing high heels and spangly dresses.
It is surely doubtful that this particular use of taxpayer's money has done anything to calm the controversy over the indoctrination and sexualization of a generation of Canadian children.