Not ‘family friendly?’

I’m concerned about the performance being planned for June 30 hosted by a drag performer named Monique Toosoon and featuring other drag performers such as one named Mia E Z’Lay.

I called the mayor’s office to express my concern that Ms. Toosoon is so overtly sexual that she posted a YouTube video advocating for and portraying herself performing sexual activity in public places.

While the June 30 event is probably not an official city children’s program, the billing of it as “family friendly” will lead most parents to assume it is an appropriate event for young kids.

I received a call back from the mayor’s aide. She spoke to Monique Toosoon and was assured the event would be family friendly despite the persona of Ms. Toosoon being that of a pornographic actor.

The mayor’s aide was told she would receive a detailed account and a video outlining what the event would encompass. She had taken the time to review the video on YouTube that Ms. Toosoon posted portraying her performing sexual acts on men in public bathrooms and behind public buildings. The aide confirmed such activity is not legal in Nashua.

I asked if this is the kind of performer that is considered acceptable for other children’s programming in the city. Imagine Stormy Daniels reading to kids at the library. It’s not a big stretch really. I’m sure Ms. Daniels would agree to not actually have sex in the children’s room. Pornography and her sex life is what she is famous for, not what she would be doing at that moment. The same is true with the drag performers planned for the June 30 event. Ms. Toosoon would not be performing any of her pornographic act at that moment, but doing that act elsewhere is why she is a well-known performer in the area.

In both cases, parents will have a hard time finding anything appropriate in the performers body of work that they can show their children as examples of why the person is famous and being celebrated.

I asked what the recourse would be if anything happened in the act on June 30 that was not previously agreed upon. The aide had no answer about that and didn’t know what the repercussions would be or what steps would be taken in that moment to stop it.

My guess is nothing would be done to stop a performance that became inappropriate, because the prevailing narrative of such a sanction would likely be that it is anti-gay bias that only small minded bigots oppose. That is how the standard of what is considered appropriate public behavior is continually lowered.

Municipalities dislike chancing the perception that they are anti-gay or bigoted. They should not fear this more than they care about the concerns of people who do not want children sexualized by being presented with performances by pornographic actors.

I also shared with the mayor’s aide my other opinion about this sort of drag show. It is a mockery of women. These performers portray us in a shallow, insulting and over sexualized way. What exactly is Mia E Z’Lay saying with that stage name choice? That she thinks women should be easy to have sex with? What is Monique Toosoon saying in the YouTube video celebrating public sexual activity? That public sexual activity is acceptable? Yes, that is exactly what she is saying. What else is she saying? That it’s normal for men to expect that from women? That women want to do that? Just as white people in blackface is now known for what it is; offensive because it portrayed blacks in negative, mocking and overly simplistic ways, this sort of drag routine is offensive to women, too.

This idea had never occurred to the mayor’s aide before, and I am grateful that she agreed it was something to think about. I hope your readers will as well.