What I Saw At Chicago’s ‘Queer Fam Pride Jam’

FEATURE: Chicago targets toddlers with ‘drag makeovers’ at pride month kickoff party

The Daily Wire

CHICAGO — The battalion of strollers present in Chicago’s Millennium Park on Sunday alongside men in drag who went by names like “Fabulous Freddie” was not an unfortunate coincidence. In fact, the day was designed to get as many toddlers in attendance as possible.

The opening performance at the “Queer Fam Pride Jam” was by Jules Hoffman, who is famous for performing songs aimed at teaching infants and toddlers their first words on Ms. Rachel, the YouTube channel with nearly 10 million subscribers. The “songs for littles” performer, who sparked controversy when she instructed people to refer to her with the pronouns “they/them,” excitedly invited parents and their “littles” to see her free show.

Hoffman performed the songs she’s famous with babies and their parents for, such as “Crabby Crab.” But making it to the stage wasn’t exactly kid-friendly. After I made my way through security alongside dozens of stroller-wielding families, I entered a packed tent where everyone appeared to be either forty or under four.

One of the first tables that greeted attendees was manned by a drag queen in a pink shawl, tight green spandex, and a frizzy wig offering “drag makeovers” for kids. The line grew long, with children and toddlers uneasy as their parents walked them up to the man in drag, who held the chin of a child steady as he applied red paint to his brow.

The booth foreshadowed the rest of the day, which prominently featured three different drag performers who danced for the children, with one even accepting a dollar bill from a child as he suggestively danced.

The event had the stamp of approval from both corporate sponsors such as Lululemon, but also the city itself. The city’s mayor Brandon Johnson took the stage after Hoffman’s opening set to declare June as “one of the most important months,” and wish the crowd a “happy queer family month.”

The feature performance was the “drag extravaganza,” hosted by the “Chicago Drag Superstars.” After a late start due to the tardiness of “Boogie McLarin,” the house music dance instructor, the first drag performer came out to a Spice Girls song while donning a leopard print one-piece outfit.

Within seconds the drag queen leapt off of the stage into the crowd of children, where he strutted between rows of seats before dropping to his back in front of a child, spreading his legs wide open as he did so.

Another drag performer, this one introduced as a “bearded lady,” stepped out onto the stage in tall white heels and a long pink robe. That didn’t last long — he opened his performance by dramatically tearing it off to reveal a tight-fitting brown, one-piece spandex outfit, interspersed with pink sparkles. He too jumped to the floor to dance amid the crowd of children that lined the stage.

READ MORE: Matt Walsh Slams YouTuber From ‘Ms. Rachel’ For Headlining ‘Queer Fam Pride Jam’ Event For Toddlers

The final act was centered around “Fabulous Freddie,” who gave children a class on “vogueing,” an often suggestive style of dance that’s been described as “an important part of queer identity.”

Fabulous Freddie taught the children the “duck walk,” an awkward move where the dancer bounces around on both of their feet while squatting. Next, he taught the “death drop,” in which the dancer climatically drops to the floor and contorts oneself with one leg bent backwards.

Fabulous Freddie then walked each of the dozens of children to strut down an imaginary runway to the gleeful adulation of the parents. Each child, one by one, walked the runway as Freddie instructed them to “vogue” along with him.

While many of the children looked confused or uninterested, the adults in attendance loudly cheered — it was, after all, them who decided to bring children to such an event.

While some of the vendors who lined the inside of the venue hoped to sell food, drinks, or thrifted clothing, others were more on-brand. A number of different LGBT children’s books were also on sale at the event, including “Our Rainbow,” which explained the meaning of the colors of the pride flag, and “Being You,” a picture book that includes drawings of small children declaring, “I’m trans!”

Another table passed out business cards for the Center on Halsted, which calls itself “the Midwest’s largest LGBTQ social service agency.” The organization solicits donations for breast binders and recently hosted a summit for “trans youth and family,” which included discussion on the use of cross-sex hormones, which threaten to sterilize users.

Though similar events have been hosted across the nation, it isn’t surprising that such a gathering was hosted in Chicago, which itself has become ground zero for the movement to medically transition children.

Just a mile away from the park that hosted that Queer Fam Pride Jam looms the shadow of one of the country’s most notorious child transgender clinics, at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital. Illinois’ Democrat Governor, J.B. Pritzker, is related to perhaps the single most impactful transgender benefactor in the country, Jennifer Pritzker. The city is dominated by landmarks that bear the name of the billionaire family: Pritzker Park, Pritzker Elementary School, Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo, Pritzker College Prep, and Pritzker Military Museum and Library.

Jennifer Pritzker’s Tawani Foundation has continuously bankrolled programs that seek to advance not just transgenderism, but transgender identity among children. One $25,000 grant from the Tawani Foundation went to an overnight summer camp specifically for children as young as eight years old who identify as transgender.

The Pritzkers gave $500,000 to the Lurie Hospital Gender Clinic, which sees those as young as four years old. The hospital’s gender clinic partnered with local school districts to promote transgenderism to students, creating what some have called a “school-to-clinic pipeline.”

With the emergence of events like Chicago’s Queer Fam Pride Jam, that pipeline appears to be extending before kids are even old enough to attend school. Ms. Rachel’s intended audience, targeted by the event with the inclusion of Hoffman, is babies and toddlers who can’t even talk. 

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