‘Expressive Individualism’: Theologian Carl Trueman Explains Why Public High Schools Keep Hosting Drag Shows
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In the span of just a few weeks, The Daily Wire has had the unfortunate privilege of reporting on two separate drag queen shows in public high schools.

In one incident, a student club at Hempfield High School in Landisville, Pennsylvania, hosted multiple performers at the high school without parents’ knowledge. The club’s co-adviser shared the performers’ Instagram accounts, all four of which included sexually suggestive content, with her students.

In the other, a student club at Ankeny High School in Ankeny, Iowa, welcomed at least two drag queens and one drag king for its end-of-year meeting without authorization from administrators. One of the drag queens delivered a speech intended to help students navigate their gender identity “journey.”

Why are modern Americans so obsessed with their identities — especially in relation to sexuality and gender? And why do they feel the need to earn approval from their neighbors and from society at large — even children?

In an interview with The Daily Wire, Carl Trueman — professor of biblical and religious studies at Grove City College and author of “The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self” — explained that a phenomenon called “expressive individualism” undergirds the high school drag shows.

“In brief compass, expressive individualism is the dominant way of thinking about identity in the modern Western world,” Trueman said. “Essentially, the expressive individualist intuits that the true self is that which we are inside, the inner emotions and psychological feelings that we experience.”

The authentic individual, according to Trueman, is, therefore, one who “is able to act out in public that which they feel inwardly.”

“It also leads to the situation where society as a whole is required to affirm that person in that public performance since failure to do so is, in effect, to deny that someone is who they think they are,” he continued. “That, in a nutshell, is where the Western world is today.”

The remarkable authority granted to feelings linked with sex and gender is derived from the last few hundred years of Western philosophy and transmitted through cultural artifacts — even if the average American may not be consciously aware of it.

“Intellectually, this has its roots in the impact of the thought of figures such as Sigmund Freud, Wilhelm Reich, and, more recently, Michel Foucault and Judith Butler,” Trueman said. “But few people read these characters — more relevant to the man or woman in the street is the way the message of a highly sexualized expressive individualism is preached by commercials, movies, soap operas, and sitcoms.”

Why, in particular, do LGBTQ activists attempt to spread their worldview among young people? “Children are the perfect target for groups whose purpose is the subversion of the parent-child bond and the consequent strengthening of the power of a progressive establishment,” Trueman commented.

Indeed, the relationship between parent and child is perhaps the most important in society — and its dissolution creates tremendous opportunities for the entrance of a new regime.

“Destroy the bond between parents and children and you have destroyed the most powerful and influential pre-political bond of influence and loyalty that stands in the way of the various lobby groups trying to drive the direction of our culture,” Trueman concluded.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘Expressive Individualism’: Theologian Carl Trueman Explains Why Public High Schools Keep Hosting Drag Shows