Transgender Events Involving Minors, No Parents Allowed?
The transgender community is getting its share of attention from corporations and schools alike because of the cultural shift toward identity politics —pretty much everywhere you turn. The problem is that the result of pandering to one identity group or another often ignores the safety of our children. Parents are often entirely unaware of the exposure their children are getting to issues that are complicated, fraught with emotion, and difficult to understand, even for adults. In some cases parents are excluded at the expense of their minor children.
Two LGBTQ+ community events involving the transgender community sparked discussion this week: one was a transgender-only swimming event supported by Citibank in Ireland; the other a workshop in a Maine high school that featured a local transgender Drag performer named Priscilla Poppycock. Parental involvement was not a clear priority in either. Both events allegedly involved minor children.
It is a shame that we live in a world where parents have to fight for their right to guide or have input in the experiences to which their children are exposed. It is even worse when in some cases teachers and community leaders seek to hide the events from parents in the name of "privacy" or "protecting" the child. In general, parental input should be a top priority from the beginning in those types of decisions with their minor children.
Citibank's Corporate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program: Values Privacy Over Parental Rights
According to a Facebook Events post, Citibank supports a regularly scheduled two-hour "Trans Only Swimming" event on Saturdays in Belfast, Ireland, arranged by The Rainbow Project. All well and good. However, apparently parents are not allowed in the "pool or poolside," according to the post. All in the name of privacy for the participants.All changing rooms are "gender neutral." The post says genitals must be covered while in the pool and pool area. The Rainbow Project is "the foremost LGBTQIA+ organisation" that "promotes the health and well-being of LGBTQIA+ people and their families across Northern Ireland."
The event is booked for trans, non-binary, and/or intersex people only "to ensure privacy." It is open to the public. The post warns potential participants that there is "little phone reception by the pool so you may not be able to get in touch with anyone" once in the building. The events are for all ages however, the group does require a consent form for individuals under age 18 to participate. However, everyone who has been a teenager knows how easy it is to fake a parental signature on a form. That means some parents may not even know their child is attending these events.
Citibank has shown itself to be an ally of the LGBTQ+ with programs like "True Name Initiative," launched in 2019. The Citibank credit card that allows transgender and non-binary individuals to use their preferred names first became available in the U.S. in 2020. The name change is not a legal procedure however. The Citibank initiative was launched during Trans Awareness Week. While there is no harm in allying oneself with the LGBTQ+ community and its concerns, the issue becomes "the slippery slope" that sometimes emerges (like the parents-not-allowed swim parties) when companies adopt these policies. Parents should have the right to attend pool parties with their minor children regardless of whether they have signed the required consent forms.
Maine High School Drag Event With Minors Present
If you think "Trans Only" events involving minors only happen overseas, you would be wrong. The Bangor Maine School District and the City of Bangor allegedly spent $1k taxpayer dollars to speak to minors at a "trans-stripper, LGBTQ+, catered, invite only event during class time. According to reporting from Fox News, "Drag performer Dominick Varney, also known as "Priscilla Poppycocks," spoke to Bangor High School students on May 4 as part of the school’s "Support, Educate, Empower" series to "empower" LGBT students." He did not appear in drag for the event.
The 90-minute workshop, entitle "Make Them Hear You" featured Varney speaking about his experiences growing up in Maine as a transgender individual. His social media content is geared toward adults.
The video below captures some of the social media posts from drag performer Dominick Varney where he uses highly suggestive and sexually charged language. Varney is the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Academic Advising and Support services at the University of Maine and has been employed there since 2016.
A thread discussion on Twitter (X) features several teachers speaking about Varney as a role model for the kids. Teacher Emilie Throckmorton and Dana Carver-Bialer, the high school's coorinator of DEI arranged Varney's hire, according to emails. The person posting the information remarks "currently 70 percent of Maine High school students lack basic proficiency in English and 76 percent lack basic proficiency in math... But at least they're equitably behind."
Parental rights advocate Shawn McBreairty lives in Maine and is familiar with the incident at Bangor High School, the town's only high school. He told the Epoch Times that the "topic and format" of these events is usually determined by the speaker. He said it isn't clear how many children "attended the performance, whether they had parental permission to attend, or what was presented. But Mr. Varney’s website shows he has a routine called “Living for Drag,” in which he describes how he became a drag performer." McBreairty is angry those funds are not used to enrich children in subjects related to academics. “It is unclear to me what a man dressing up as a woman has to do with educational and student success,'” Mr. McBreairty told the Epoch Times.
These programs are going on in schools everywhere, sometimes without parental consent or knowledge. U.S. Schools are fast becoming known for their DEI curricula and not the rigors of their curricula. There is a time and place for Drag shows and "inclusive", therapeutic conversations. However, time spent on those things during school hours, is time spent away from teaching the basics so sorely needed by American children.
To make things crystal clear here, this is not a column meant to denigrate the LGBTQ+ community. However, it is no small thing for a minor child to be exposed to events like these without the benefit of parental guidance.
Any number of TikTok posts will show you that the struggle with identity issues, especially during puberty, is fraught with emotion, peer and societal pressure, and can set in motion all kinds of dynamics that can be life altering and extremely challenging for families. Just watch "detranstioner" Chloe Cole testify before Congress about the emotional turmoil she endured as she struggled with her identity as a teenager. It certainly is not optimal for parents to be the last to know when their children face these kinds of emotional challenges. These are only some of the reasons children need their parents' input and involvement.
Parents should absolutely know exactly what is going on at the pool or in the school libraries of their minor children. It is especially with tender topics like identity and belonging that children need the MOST support from their parents.
Freedom Forever is an all volunteer organization that focuses its energy and time on preserving the innocence and safety of children. Freedom Forever is now also offering crisis support for survivors and families. Please call the Crisis Resource Line at 615.307.0152 or email our resource specialist at Starr@FreedomForever.us.
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