this_one

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this_one wrote

That's ok, absolutely no judgement on you - you make a lot of posts and the vast majority of them are great. And I can definitely understand how the mistake was made - I thought based on the title it'd be interesting. It sounds like it could be something written by a "boy dancing in drag in a gay bar" about the tricky situations that sometimes puts them in which they have to navigate, but alas, we were both mistaken in some way.

I was kind of hoping there'd be a discussion to be had (maybe there still could be, although with this article off the front page, idk how many people will be seeing this comment) about how the culture at large sexualises kids (especially girls), and how young drag queens can enter into femininity while avoiding sexualisation.

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this_one wrote

I am curious to hear queer voices on this topic (or at the bare minimum, not actively queerphobic ones), because I think it is important to talk about stuff like this.

No one forces him to perform, performing is what he loves to do and has always loved to do.

Is good to hear, but I'm skeptical of a parent saying this (rather than the child themself) It might well be true, but yeah. It feels exploitative to me for any kid to be doing so much at such a young age. I worry it'd turn out like other kinds of 'child stars' (see: Hollywood). My bigger issue, though, is with two points at the end of the instagram post. Firstly:

The performance was promoted and anyone who did not wish to see a drag kid perform in a club did not have to attend. No one forced you to go.

Doesn't that mean that the only people who would have gone would be people who want to see a child do drag? The thought makes me uncomfortable. I'm by no means saying everyone who wants to see kids do drag is a pedo, but if you were a pedo, that might be something you wanted to see. I'm not sure if I take issue more with the actual idea of the event, or just the fact that this argument is being used to defend it. I think it's a bad argument. My second issue is with this:

I know a lot of drag fans/drag queens do not want to see kids in what they consider an adult form of entertainment or venue, but drag is changing and becoming more widespread and popular with people of all ages, genders, identities, races, abilities, and disabilities.

If you want to promote the idea that drag isn't inherently 'for adults' or whatever, wouldn't it make more sense to put on a drag show that non-adults are at all likely to attend? I like the idea of drag being more inclusive/accessible, but I don't think this event was a very effective way of achieving that.

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this_one wrote

I'm not sure how I feel about this.

I skimmed over it after reading the first [editor's note] (gross gross gross). I don't like the idea of an 11-year-old "dressed in drag danc[ing] on stage in a sexual manner [to an adult audience]" at all, but this seems like an intensely queerphobic publication, so I'm not sure it can be trusted.

The source they used for that story was a "The Daily Wire" story, within 1 click of which I was able to navigate to a page that says, "How many genders are there? There are two..." (yuck yuck yuck), so I get the feeling that might also be a queerphobic publication. Also, for some reason they spend half the article talking about the bar's weird cellphone policy for some reason.

That Daily Wire article links to some (old) stories from "left-wing" sites (at least, they seem to think they're left-wing) about the same kid, but their actual source for this particular event is a youtuber who, judging off the title of their videos, including "VLOG: Going to Vote straight Red IN 2018 MIDTERMS VLOG" I'm going to assume might be queerphobic. Reluctantly, I watch his video, "Slippery Mets Slope - Drag Kid Desmond is Amazing "PERFORM" at Adult Gay bay", to find his sources.

His first source is a yelp review, apparently for the event. His second is the kid's instagram (as well as one other instagram "nudus.elit" that now seems to be deleted). That yelp review for the bar doesn't exist any more. On the kid's instagram is this post which reads:

Hi, it's mom. I can't believe I have to type this. Articles have been coming out claiming that my son danced half naked and stripped in a sleazy gay bar for grown men who threw dollars at him and is being exploited and forced to perform. THIS IS NOTHING MORE THAN BLATANT HOMOPHOBIA and display of the grossly outdated belief that gay men are pedophiles. The truth is, Desmond is a professional drag performer. No one forces him to perform, performing is what he loves to do and has always loved to do. He was a ballet dancer for four years and is currently earning an A+ grade in drama at his school. He is extremely talented in his celebrity and character impersonations. His costumes are less revealing than a dancer's or cheerleader's uniform, and are always age appropriate. While he dances, he does not move in a sexual manner. He often collects tips, as drag queens sometimes do, which we allow him to keep and he uses to buy clothing and the toy trains he wants. His engagements are contracted and booked by his management agency. All of his performances are conducted in accordance with the Dept of Labor's regulations for child performers. Desmond is never allowed into the bar area of any club, nor the main floor. He stays backstage with me, in the dressing room, or on stage only. It must be noted, however, that it is not illegal in NYC for a minor to be in an establishment that serves alcohol as long as they are accompanied by an adult. Desmond was the sole performer for the event at the center of this controversy and he performed 3 numbers. The venue took measures to make sure it would be age appropriate and audience members that attended were respectful and in good conduct. The performance was promoted and anyone who did not wish to see a drag kid perform in a club did not have to attend. No one forced you to go. I know a lot of drag fans/drag queens do not want to see kids in what they consider an adult form of entertainment or venue, but drag is changing and becoming more widespread and popular with people of all ages, genders, identities, races, abilities, and disabilities. Instead of tearing drag kids down, why not mentor them? They are the future of drag.

These are the photos I could find from the event, for anyone who wants to get a sense of what it was: [1] [2] [3] [4]

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this_one wrote

Pretty much, yeah. I think of voting as a (very) small action to make the world slightly less shitty. The only reason I would ever not vote is if there was a better action I could be taking to make the world less shitty, but I seem to have more than enough time to do those things and vote.

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this_one wrote

I'm sorry, it might be partly that I'm in a bit of a bad mood or something for whatever reason, but I don't know how to read that last paragraph except as:

most of the time, civilisation causes these problems, so I can ignore them, even though they'd still sometimes come up, and even though the specific example was just that - an example.

Unless by "most sicknesses like myopia are caused by civilisation" you mean "most sicknesses that civilisation has answers for" or even "most sicknesses", but I feel like if you're going to make one of those claims, you're probably going to want to back it up.

I also have a question which is probably born of both me misunderstanding and you not communicating perfectly (which, to be fair, can't be expected from anyone :P). If something like glasses is "civilisation" (as your last paragraph says), it seems like that label should extend to other parts of medical technology. If that's true, why aren't you against medical technology (which you said a couple comments up the chain)?

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this_one wrote

I'd argue that being disabled in an egalitarian society that actually takes care of its members and doesn't view them as a burden would be a much better experience than being disabled in our isolating authoritarian industrial society ("civilization"), where everyone is measured by their ability to earn money, yes.

Surely those are not the only two exact possibilities, though? For example, what if you could be blind, but with glasses in an egalitarian society that actually takes care of its members and doesn't view them as a burden. Isn't that better than being blind with glasses in our isolating authoritarian industrial society where everyone is measured by their ability to earn money?

I know your first answer said you're not into 'un-inventing' glasses or whatever, but I think your answer to I_Knot_Pork's second question (at least, in the way I'm reading it) is kind of ignoring what you said in that first answer.

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this_one wrote

I can't resist my urge to respond to this one, so forgive me for indulging myself. Also, I want to say, obviously, my subjective experiences can't contradict yours, so if you think it's a waste of time for you, then it is, and I'm not trying to change your mind; only to express my own disagreement.

I've been competitively Good at one online videogame in my life (a fighting game). I wasn't good enough (and maybe also where I'm from didn't have enough tournaments or whatever) to think of making any money from it, but the fun it brought my shouldn't be understated. It also taught me (or helped me improve) a bunch of skills which are still useful outside the game: Things like reflexes, noticing patterns in other people's (any my!) behaviour - noticing what they're doing right or wrong, and thinking about how to improve - teaching/conveying how someone can improve, collecting data and making good use of it (I made spreadsheets from my games), teamwork (how to decide what information to tell my partner, and how to say it without distracting them or myself), how to deal with my emotions/perform under pressure and knowing when I'm too emotional and need a break, etc.

I'm not saying it made me amazing at any of these things, but I'm definitely at least a little better at all of them than if I'd never got good at that game.

Beyond that, it also both introduced me to some great friendships which have continued beyond most of us being done with the game, and been an excuse to continue spending time with older friends.

As well as all that, though, being good - quantifiably, measurably good - at something has been (and to a smaller extent still is) something I can point to to make me feel a bit better when my brain tells me I'm no good.

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this_one wrote

Reading this gives me two thoughts. Firstly, these ideas should absolutely be kept in mind for anyone trying to form anarchist groups (or non-hierarchical groups in general). Secondly, if the biggest size of hunter-gatherer band anthropologists usually see is ~50, and there are 7.7-odd billion people on earth, even if all the land on earth was livable, that'd be less than 1 hectare per band. It's just such a depressingly huge number of people.