Drag Queen Story Hour Event: Boy in Pink Dress Says He Wants to Be Spiderman

In this Saturday, May 13, 2017 photo, Lil Miss Hot Mess reads to children during the Feminist Press' presentation of Drag Queen Story Hour! at the Park Slope Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mary Altaffer/AP Photo

A small boy at a Drag Queen Story Hour event told the room that he wants to grow up to be a “spiderman.”

But the boy had been dressed in a pink dress by a parent.

The event was held on October 27 in Washington state at the Vancouver Community Library’s Columbia Room. A local group had invited a man dressed in women’s clothes to read stories about children who supposedly wished to live as members of the opposite sex. The man, Owen McHatton, who was dressed in a mocking caricature of a woman, asked the children what they wished to be when they grow up.

The young boy excitedly said he wants to be a “spiderman,” after the comic book hero.

The man responded, “You want to be a spiderman? Wow, Or a princess spiderman. You never know. You can be anything you want. I’m a drag queen.”

The event came shortly after a Texas court decided a case where the divorcing parents disagreed over the mother’s claim that their boy wants to dress as a girl. The court awarded joint authority to the two parents, and the father’s allies subsequently declared that the boy now refuses to wear dresses to school.

The Washington state event was protested by a group of parents who were accompanied by a local politician, Rep. Vicki Kraft (R-Vancouver), according to the Columbian newspaper:

Critics say it’s inappropriate for drag queens who also perform at bars and night clubs to be invited to read to young children. Kraft said the event promotes “gender confusion, which is damaging to children.”

“It’s taking advantage of young minds,” Kraft said.

Gary Wilson, another protester, is encouraging people to vote no on the next Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries levy. (Drag Queen Story Hour is paid for by nonprofit Friends of the Library, not the library itself.) Wilson said he’s gathered 3,500 signatures in that effort so far. “That’s how strongly they feel about it,” he said.

The comments on Twitter were less charitable.

“Gay people are not behind this, it’s not a gay thing,” tweeted Chadwick Moore, a journalist who is a former editor of gay publications. “It’s women treating gays like pets and doing irreparable damage to us in the process as [t]he nation watches in disgust,” he said on Twitter.

The man at the center of the event defended himself to the Columbian newspaper, saying:

“We’re the embodiment of fantasy and fairy tales,” he said. “Why not be for kids?”

McHatton selected a series of books for Sunday featuring messages of self-expression and self-acceptance, like the popular “Julian is a Mermaid,” about a little boy whose grandmother encourages him to dress as the mythical aquatic creature.




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