What do Woman Engineers and Drag Queens have in common? Until recently, I hadn't really thought about it, but two items from CBC on December 6 gave me some clarity. Let me explain.
In the Christmas Newsletter for KUC, in 2017, there was an appeal for volunteers to join the new Affirm Leadership Team. I looked at it, thought about it, and couldn't not volunteer. In the early seventies, I was an engineering student, one of about 60 woman in the University of Waterloo Faculty of Engineering. I knew about being discriminated against because I was different. I don't think anyone should be treated that way.
December 6, as we well know, is the Day of Remembrance, the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre. Those 14 women died and 14 more were injured because they were different. When I heard about it, in 1989, I cried for them, and for their hopes and plans, lost to hatred because they were different. I cried again, as I listened to one of the survivors, on As It Happens, this week.
So, how do Drag Queens fit in?
Lately there has been organized protests against Drag Queen Storytime and other Drag Queen family focused events. Social media has made it so that groups think that seeing campy people dressed in wild costumes read stories to children, who are often also dressed up in costumes, will somehow cause the children to "turn gay". Some think that the Drag Queens are pedophiles and the storytime is grooming the children. Their solution is to come to these events and scream hatred at the children and their parents.
A couple of weeks ago, in Vancouver, a storytime at a community centre attracted protesters, but also counter protesters, who sang songs and played instruments to try to drown out the hatred and protect the parents and the children.
The performers at these events are starting to fear for their safety.
In the US, protesters at these events have shown up with guns. The pictures are terrifying. After the recent disclosure that there were weapons found in vehicles during the protests here, in February, is it just a matter of time before that happens in Canada at a Drag Queen event?
We are all made in God's image. I can see the image of God in this picture, and I am sure it can be seen on the faces of the children in the audience.
I love the book she is reading, in the picture, It's Okay To Be Different. We need to send a clear message to our community that it is okay to be different, and it is not okay to threaten harm to those who are different from you.
In the words of William Wadsworth Longfellow
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.
May it be so.