by Katherine Prudhomme O’Brien |
Drag performers choose names the same way strippers or porno actors do-to highlight their sexuality. In MiMi Malevolent’s case, it is not a sexualized name but one that describes them as malevolent, which means evil. I like to avoid people who say they are evil and especially, keep children away from them.
I am also concerned about the possibility of the deliberate use of obfuscation by the drag performer’s New York-based umbrella organization.
The director of the Conway library says they are trustworthy, however the organization that brought a sex offender and drag performer to the Texas library sounds very similar in name to the one bringing the drag performers to the library in Conway, yet complaints about this are dismissed as if the general public is responsible for being aware of the differences between the two groups. That’s is not general knowledge and I’m not sure why he would expect it to be. In that climate, insinuating that concerned parents simply become more educated about drag performance is illogical and unfair.
I have never seen library boards of trustees treat any other groups invited to interact with children with such deference and blind trust. When I was a library trustee and performers came in to interact with children, they were well known to staff and connected to trusted organizations, usually local and always non political and secular in nature since so much concern was given to not introducing ideas and concepts that most parents would prefer to first introduce to their children themselves.
I’m sure if any child at the event asks their parent about the performer’s names or where they can go for further information about them, most parents will not want to tell their children the truth about those names. That’s a large departure from previous criteria for who was invited by a library to interact with children and why they were invited.