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Are drag shows REALLY family friendly? A Biblical perspective

Are drag shows REALLY family friendly? A Biblical perspective

By Summer Lane

Anyone who’s been paying attention to the news cycle these days has noticed the sudden popularity of “family friendly drag performances” that are popping up across the nation.

Just two weeks ago, videos surfaced online of parents who had attended a pride-themed event in Dallas, Texas, called “Drag the Kids to Pride,” where underage children were admitted into a gay nightclub to watch drag queens perform sexually charged dance moves in front of a sign that read, “It’s not gonna lick itself.”

Unfortunately, thanks to the fact that the entire month of June has been designated as Pride Month in the U.S. – signaling a wave of U.S.-based businesses and corporations to deck their logos out in rainbow colors and sell pride-theme products – the sudden phenomenon of “family friendly” drag performances seem to have gained some traction in society.

Whether it’s the local zoo or library offering drag queen presentations for families and children or schools attempting to slip conversations surrounding drag into classroom-time with kids, drag shows are suddenly a hot topic of conversation.

Many people say that drag shows are perfectly harmless to kids, and that families need to embrace the idea of drag to promote equality between LGBTQ families and the traditional nuclear family unit of one mother, one father, and their children.

But…is that true? Let’s explore this question from a Biblical perspective.

What is drag?

Drag is essentially a form of entertainment that features performers emulating or impersonating either men or women. There is sometimes a variety of song and dance performances, skits, or even comedic undertones to these performances. To be clear, not every single drag show may be sexually-themed in nature, but the bottom line is this: drag performances feature a man or a woman dressing up as the opposite sex. Interestingly, the Urban Dictionary cites that drag shows are usually held at bars or clubs – settings where children are generally not legally allowed to enter.

What makes drag inappropriate for children?

There’s a lot of chatter online right now about drag shows being perfectly family friendly. A local zoo in California cited upcoming “Family Friendly Drag Performances” that would occur during a “Family Pride Night,” for all ages. Here are some of the arguments I’ve seen defending the concept of providing a drag performance for kids online:

“If you’re a parent and you’re not comfortable with exposing your child to drag, don’t show up to the event.”

“I just hope and pray everybody is safe and it’s the parent’s choice who want to bring their children to this…”

“Thank you for being a voice of reason, love, and inclusion.”

“Thank you for representing and including all types of families!”

There are two very important questions to ask when looking at the defense for these types of events, particularly for the parent who purports to be a follower of Christ:

What is the Biblical design of gender? And why does that design matter?

Genesis 5:2 tells us that God created humans as male and female. In Genesis 2:24 Scripture also says that a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

This is the Biblical vision for a sexual relationship within the boundaries of God-ordained gender. Additionally, the Bible goes even further in many verses to explicitly point out what is not a good and gratifying picture of God’s idea of sex and gender:

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. (Romans 1:26-27)

Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 

If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God. (1 Corinthians 11:14-16)

These are just two examples of Scriptural teaching that clearly indicates switching genders or sexes is not part of God’s design. In fact, the Bible further calls this type of sin “dishonorable” and “shameless” (Romans 1:26-27).

Therefore, the Bible makes it very clear that the very concept of men dressing up as women or women dressing up as men is not something that God wants us to glorify or celebrate. As adults, we may be able to watch a drag performance and make the distinction that the show is satirical or purely comedic, but at the end of the day, drag is still celebrating something that God calls sin.

However, a child cannot and will not make that same distinction. The very nature of a drag show insinuates that not only is gender malleable, but changing it is celebrated and safe. We cannot and should not expect a child to understand that this concept – which is being celebrated on stage – is not only incompatible with Biblical teaching, but dangerous to their own emotional health.

Further, children cannot consent to being exposed to content that introduces ideas of sexuality or gender identity. At what point did drag shows become a “fixture” of LGBTQ family life? Why is it suddenly necessary for non-traditional families to take their children to see drag shows in order to normalize the concept of a gay or lesbian family unit?

Ask yourself the question of why it is necessary to expose impressionable young children to drag performances and pride parades (which can often feature sexually explicit performances or displays from participants) when a child is not even old enough to consent to having sex. And, if they’re not old enough to consent to sex, they certainly are not old enough to be exposed to sexual material that could permanently warp their rapidly-developing minds.

Christians parents have a moral duty and responsibility to protect their children from the debased agenda that society is pushing on our most innocent citizens. Scripture’s teaching on sex and gender are clear – the world’s standards on sex and gender are constantly fluctuating and increasingly more disturbing as children are more and more often the un-consenting victims of these chaotic social experiments.

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For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.  For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature;  and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips,  slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,  foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Romans 1:18-31

The opinions in this article are specific to its author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire Counter Culture Mom team.

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Summer Lane is the #1 bestselling author of 30 books, including the hit Collapse Series and Resurrection Series. She is an experienced journalist and columnist who reports on news within the U.S. and abroad. Additionally, she analyzes politics and policies in weekly op/Eds on The Write Revolution.

Summer is also a mom and wife who enjoys rural country living, herding cats, and gardening. She is passionate about writing about women’s issues, parenting, and politics from a theologically-grounded perspective that points readers to the good news of the gospel.

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