Late last month, the health insurance company Kaiser Permanente released a video advertisement promoting Drag Queen Story Hour, the LGBT library program in which male performers dress up as sexually explicit women and read LGBT-themed books in front of children.
The ad, “To Them We Say,” presents positive images of people who might receive social rebukes for various reasons. Most of these are innocuous attacks on largely defunct social stigmas. The voiceover says, “There are those who will say that you are too… too fat, too skinny, too old.” The “too fat” image shows a healthy-looking woman in Yoga. The “too skinny” image shows a young man wrestling. The “too old” image shows a well-dressed elderly woman. A young woman in the military is rebuked for being “too pretty,” while a female judge is rebuked for being “too soft.”
Then the ad shows a drag queen reading and dancing for laughing children. The voiceover notes that some would call the drag queen “too much.”
The ad concludes with the voiceover saying, “to them we say, ‘too bad.’ At Kaiser Permanente, we believe everybody deserves the right to thrive.”
Health care companies should indeed serve everyone, but this ad isn’t just about Kaiser Permanente — it is a clear attempt to normalize Drag Queen Story Hour. The smiling, laughing children are a subliminal message that full-grown men dressing up like women and acting sexual around children is fun, not disturbing.
Parents have many good reasons to be concerned, however. At least one Drag Queen Story Hour performer has praised the events as part of “the grooming of the next generation” — apparently unaware of the sexual connotations of the word “grooming.” By “grooming,” that drag queen meant to suggest that these kid-focused events will normalize LGBT identities and behavior with young children.
Parents and others with the courage to speak out against Drag Queen Story Hour have met with harassment. When concerned mothers attempted to expose a drag queen event, police and antifa activists threatened them. A church in San Diego was vandalized after the pastor spoke out against the events. Such a response does little to reassure concerned parents and conservative religious believers.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a group that accuses mainstream conservative and Christian organizations of being “hate groups” along with the KKK, has attempted to smear critics of Drag Queen Story Hour by tying them to white nationalists. In the name of tolerance, the SPLC and others routinely demonize those who dare disagree with part or all of the LGBT revolution.
Teachers have been fired for using the wrong pronouns. Christian student groups have been forced to elevate openly homosexual leaders, in violation of their mission statements. Government actors have compared Christians to Nazis for their stance on marriage. How is any of that tolerant?
Now Kaiser Permanente has enlisted itself in this full-court press on LGBT issues. This follows a growing trend of virtue signaling among businesses that have nothing to do with activism. Amazon, for instance, recently banned books that offered help to troubled LGBT people — because they conflicted with the new “woke” orthodoxy.
Companies that truly wish to promote acceptance for all people should not alienate the conservatives among their consumer base by demonizing critics of Drag Queen Story Hour. Why doesn’t Kaiser Permanente add a line: “There are those who will say you are too bigoted,” with an image of people praying? “To them we say, ‘too bad.'” That message would truly be countercultural — and a victory for tolerance.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.