The Daily Wire ran a story yesterday about an 11-year-old boy who dances in drag shows at gay bars. Video of a recent "performance" made its way to the internet, and it's about as infuriating and revolting as you might imagine. The child, Desmond, dances on stage in a wig, make up, and a crop top, as a crowd of adult men cheer and shout and throw dollar bills.
Desmond, despite the fact that he's in fifth or sixth grade, has apparently been on the drag circuit for years. He appeared in a drag music video at the age of six, and has been on the scene ever since, receiving glowing media coverage all the while. As Amanda Prestigiacomo notes, Desmond's parents have found creative ways to monetize their child's sexual exploitation. Desmond merchandise will soon be available to anyone deranged enough to buy it.
I should not need to explain why this is all quite sick and evil. A child is being sexually abused, right in front of our eyes, and many people in our culture are applauding while it happens. Anyone who fails to see the problem with this situation is probably too perverse and demented to be reached by any kind of logical or moral argument. But if I were to try and explain the self-evident, I would simply offer this thought experiment:
Imagine that Desmond was a girl. Not a boy in girl clothes, but an actual girl. Imagine it was an 11-year-old girl dancing sexually at a bar while a bunch of adult men hooted and hollered and tossed dollar bills in her direction. Drag shows are basically just burlesque for gay men, so let's say this is a middle school burlesque dancer performing for drunken men at clubs and bars around New York.
Do you think such a sight would be applauded by anyone aside from the pedophiles in attendance? Do you think the Today Show would gush, as they did for Desmond, "Meet the 10-year-old 'burlesque kid' taking over social media with an inspiring message"? No, of course not. If a young girl were ever traipsed on stage in such a context, the establishment would be raided by the police, every adult in the building would be arrested, and the parents would go to prison and lose custody. You would have to dive deep into the darkest, grossest fringes of the internet to find anyone who would whisper even a word of support for a sixth grade girl's strip tease act. As it happens, you need only turn on the network news or check the Daily Beast to find adulation heaped generously on the heads of Desmond's abusers.
There is no moral difference at all between the imaginary scenario described above and the actual case of the 11-year-old "drag kid." It is exactly the same thing. Those who believe in the fluidity of gender should especially agree that it's exactly the same thing. The sexual exploitation of a boy by gay men is accepted and celebrated simply because gay men are a protected class, which is yet another reason to do away with those kinds of designations and treat everyone equally. No protected classes or victim classes. Just people. And in this case, the people involved — parents, spectators, club owners — are despicable abusers.