Drag Queens: Not the Same as Pedophiles

I’ve been around both, and trust me, they are not the same

Wendy Miller


Photo: Pablo Merchan via diversifylens

My favorite uncle was gay. I’ve grown up with gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer family and friends. I’ve known drag queens and thoroughly enjoyed their shows. For me, these things are as natural as anything else in the world.

My best friend lived next door when I was around 10 or 11. I frequently spent the night at her house, giggling about boys and getting annoyed together at her younger brother and sister. The sleepovers stopped — as did all other time spent at her house — when her stepfather decided one day to rub the breasts I was just beginning to get. I don’t remember what he said to me, but I remember knowing this wasn’t right. I remember telling my mother, though I don’t recall her reaction.

To be clear, my friend’s stepfather identifies as straight at that time and to this day. And he’s never dressed in drag.

The threat you think you see is not the threat.

A Man in a Dress Isn’t Out to Hurt Your Kids

As women, we often talk about the dangers we face. We talk about how we can’t walk down dark alleys alone at night or alone anywhere at night. We talk about unwanted advances from men who won’t go away. We discuss our fears of men who won’t take no for an answer, whether we’re in a bar, at a party, or even in our own home.

And as parents, we worry about the dangers our children might face. Sexual abuse is certainly one of those dangers. But the man in the dress with the full face of makeup and a wig that makes me wish my own hair looked half as good? He’s not the one presenting that danger.

Consider this for a second: He’s a man wearing a dress. If anything, he’s opening himself up to danger. There are people who would love nothing more than to physically harm him because he’s dressed in drag. Add in that he might also be gay and he’s painting a brightly-colored target on his back. A target that means people are already always watching him.

So when and how would he hurt your kids, when he’s already being watched like a hawk?