Not much usually happens at the McLean Community Center in the affluent D.C. suburb in Northern Virginia. Its eleven elected non-salaried officials take care of the family-oriented activities offered to residents. The center is locally financed by a special resident tax that gives neighbors a say in what happens there. This local touch ensured that nothing controversial ever happened at the place beyond its cultural events.
At least not until last June. The center’s directors provoked the community by co-sponsoring a “Drag StoryBook Hour” for children with the community’s library to celebrate “Pride” month. The shocking program features men dressed as garish, painted women who read LGBTQ-themed storybooks to pre-school children. The program was so out of character for the center that it divided McLean.
The locals were enraged by this unsolicited change of program thrust upon them. As the June event at the nearby library unfolded, a group of protesters prayed the rosary outside, deploring the event that attacks childhood innocence.
The Small Protest that Roared
Never underestimate the power of a single protest! Since the protest, nothing has been the same at the center. Subsequent meetings of the 11-member board featured residents expressing legitimate concern about the center’s direction. For months, board members tried to ignore the complaints, and then residents did the only thing they could do. They organized to unseat them.
This May, the normal blah election for three open seats has turned into a hotly contested race of nine candidates seeking to unseat them. Issues like these triggered the conservative electoral victory in 2021 in Virginia.
Nobody’s hiding anything; it’s all about the story hour. Three candidates represent the conservative reaction, with well-known residents Sebastian and Katherine Gorka leading the charge. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the local Democratic Party committee is doubling down by presenting a three-candidate slate on a platform called One Fairfax, taking the side of “equity” and even more story hours.
The Left Starts a Culture War
The provocative event might have slipped under the community’s radar had it not been for the protest. The prayers appeared to have their effect. The affluent community of 50,000 tends to be liberal, but the Drag Queen Storybook Hour shocked many, leaving them mugged by reality.
Many residents have fond memories of the center as the site of concerts, picnics, chocolate festivals, and other family-friendly community events. They cannot understand how men dressed as women performing in front of toddlers found their way into the center’s program. The story hour is like a nightmare imposing a repugnant ideology on the most vulnerable.
With this event, the left brought the culture war to the community. It is not going away. Its partisans have now decided to die on this hill. Rather than surrender to the left, conservatives are standing their ground. They want the Story Hours and their promoters out. The protest lives on.
A Controversy Rocking the Nation
The Story Hour controversy has riled the political and cultural landscape all over the country. The appalling events have divided communities for and against. The issue has also split the right between the more libertarian wing, who tolerate it as a regrettable expression of free speech and the moral conservatives who believe the community has the right to defend itself against depravity. The story hours triggered the famous Sohrab Ahmari/David French debate about fighting back against a decadent culture. The issue is far from settled.
As in McLean, the Drag Queen story hours have mobilized protesters who appear wherever the events happen. The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) has held hundreds of protest rosary rallies around the country. TFP members testifying at one well-attended local hearing heard a drag queen openly admit, “This is going to be the grooming of the next generation. We are trying to groom the next generation.”
Acts of Cultural Terrorism
The protests and debate have turned the issue into the cutting edge of the culture war. Librarians and cultural groomers had hoped that the events would enter the mainstream without controversy. However, protests have unmasked the story hours as acts of cultural terrorism that explode in peaceful communities unaccustomed to such shows of degeneracy.
As a result of protests, some Drag Queen Story Hours promoters no longer publicize these events as they once did. They have taken to hiding them from the public like stolen goods. Thus, continuous, prayerful protests take away their dynamism and lead to their defeat.
Constant protests not only isolate the particularly obscene activity they also unmask the anti-Christian agenda that can always be found behind these events. In Houston, one figure was found to be a registered child sex offender yet performed before children. When people get the whole picture of those attacking them, they react more vigorously. Many see that there is something evil about these presentations beyond official explanations.
The Troubles in McLean
The trouble at the McLean Community Center illustrates what is happening all over America. The left is unmasking and showing its true face. It is desperately imposing its agenda on Americans regardless of the consequences. Issues like critical race theory, transgender bathroom wars and increasingly radical forms of procured abortion are dividing America. The aggressiveness of the left shows in its agenda.
The reaction at McLean proves that protest is possible and effective. All it takes to change everything is the courage of a small handful of determined residents.