In an era where traditional values are under constant scrutiny, a whopping $400 a week is being demanded for the dubious privilege of having one’s children indoctrinated in the controversial world of drag at the summer camp hosted by Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture, effectively glamourizing cross-dressing to youngsters aged twelve and above.
Joshua Hancock, a man deeply entrenched in the drag scene of Seattle, holds the reins of this provocative camp, brazenly named “Summer Camp: the Art of Drag.” This program, now in its third summer, continues to attract the more radical fringe of parents in the Northwestern metropolis, all under the roof of a museum revered for its homage to Seattle’s musical icons like Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana. The museum is also home to the Sky Church venue, a symbolic tribute to Jimi Hendrix’s guitar.
The promotional pitch for the Art of Drag summer camp is as audacious as it is unsettling:
“Calling all current and future kings and queens! Explore self-expression in MoPOP’s week-long, drag-tastic summer camp! Led by Seattle performer Joshua Hancock, you’ll investigate drag history and work together with local artists to create your own personas. You’ll choose your name, explore hair and makeup techniques, and develop your character’s stage presence. At the end of the week, celebrate your new drag personas with a private showcase!”
While the world of drag traditionally sees men adopting the persona of women, this camp stretches the concept of inclusivity to its limit by opening its doors to “youth of all gender expressions and identities” – an alarmingly broad net for Seattle’s young and impressionable.
Scheduled for August 18 to 22, the “Summer Camp: the Art of Drag” offers an early bird rate of $370 for those who register before May 31, 2022. Past the deadline, the price balloons to $400, an exorbitant fee for a camp that encourages boys to trade their natural identities for fabricated feminine personas.
In an interview with Fox News, the museum’s spokesperson unabashedly championed this unsettling camp, promoting boys’ transformation into women and the exhibition of their contrived personas in a concluding showcase. “We are proud to offer an opportunity for young people to use drag to explore self-expression through creating characters and performances that express and uplift their unique identities,” they said, seemingly unconcerned with the potential psychological effects of such gender-confusing role-play.
The museum’s website sheds light on Hancock’s extensive 30-year involvement in the world of drag theater.
According to the site, “He believes drag is for everyone. It is more than one thing and can be used to heal and bring joy, sadness, and love to people. He has a Master of Arts from Texas Woman’s University in Theatre and has worked in Ireland, Canada, Mexico, the Czech Republic, and coast to coast in the United States.”
Curiously, Hancock styles his drag character Parton after the iconic Dolly Parton and leverages her voice to disseminate his views of love and open-mindedness.
All this raises a profound question: Are we, as a society, ready to entrust the molding of our children’s identities to such camps, which openly defy and distort the traditional understanding of gender and identity? This summer camp, and others like it, seem determined to push the boundaries of inclusivity and self-expression to an alarming extreme, all at the expense of our children’s formative years.