I came across a TikTok video captioned, “pushing the agenda to make our boys look like girls against our will is just sick.” I watched as a woman filmed clothes around the kids’ section at Target and rhetorically asked a nearby worker if this was in fact the boy’s section as she showcased clothes with sharks, dinosaurs and bugs printed on them.
At one point in the video, the woman shows two child-size mannequins wearing matching outfits and makes a comment about how you can look like your sister, then scoffs.
At this point, I thought the video was satire, but as with most things on the internet, it sadly wasn’t. This woman was very serious and very bothered by Target’s choice of clothing for boys. The inferred reason for the fury that provoked this woman to make this unnecessary video is the pastel colour scheme of the clothing. Target’s 2023 spring collection for boys was in pastels, and that’s obviously unsuitable attire for little boys.
If you are like me, you might be asking yourself, what are boys’ clothes, then? Are they made of a special fabric that increases testosterone or manly movements? Apparently not.
They’re just clothes that are not in pastels, since pinks and “unmasculine” hues of blue might blind the average person and have them mistake you for a girl.
More concerning than this video not being a prank is the fact that it had thousands upon thousands of likes and comments. This ridiculous discourse reminds me of another absurd controversy involving children started by those with nothing better to do.
There is currently an uproar regarding drag queens reading children’s books to children.
Drag Story Hour is a program that promotes literacy, teaches children about the lives of 2SLGBTQIA+ people and fosters inclusion, tolerance, imagination, acceptance and the celebration of diversity through the use of drag, a traditional art form.
Because of the spread of misinformation online, the program is now being used as ammunition to spread further homophobic and transphobic hysteria and direct hate toward an already vulnerable demographic.
Protestors against Drag Story Hour claim that it’s not a conducive environment for a child’s well-being and that drag queens should be kept locked up in nightclubs. I think these concerns are futile and dumb for multiple reasons.
A conducive environment for children is one in which they are safe. There is nothing unsafe about reading children Dr. Seuss in the same room as their parents. If we’re being honest, the misconception that all drag queens are predators — which is blatantly untrue — is at the core of this outrage.
These concerns and conversations I’ve mentioned stem from homophobic and transphobic rhetoric that aims to villainize and further erase inclusivity for members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.
In fact, the uproar over all of these things is unwarranted. Once everyone takes a few deep breaths and comes back from frolicking in some daisies, maybe they will realize that nobody is forcing them to buy their son pastel-coloured clothes against their will, or court ordering them to take their child to a drag story hour.
Protestors are calling for us to “protect our children,” but from what? Inclusion? Acceptance of differences? The existence of queer and trans people?
If people care about protecting kids, why don’t they focus their energy on the millions of kids across Canada living in poverty or the hundreds of thousands of kids at risk of abuse
and neglect in unstable households. There are a plethora of cases of clergy members
abusing children, yet the “protect our children” crowd isn’t protesting in front of churches.
The truth is that it’s not about the kids, and it never was. Children are simply being used
as foot soldiers in a battle to validate biases and prejudice. It’s about control, and how some
people feel that their beliefs about what is right should be forced upon everyone else. It is
parents and other adults behaving like the very children they claim to care about.
Boys wearing spring colours and kids listening to stories read by drag queens aren’t going to “turn” gay or trans. These experiences are going to turn them into individuals that understand that colours don’t dictate gender identity or expression and that you can co-exist with all different types of peoples.
Stop using children as pawns in a homophobic and transphobic agenda.