William F. Buckley used to bring on people with radically different views, and he has been replaced by Bill Maher, though the points of view are different. On Bill’s shows, I get a feel for how people of varying opinions think, feel, and act. Last night, his guest was the Republican Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, Winsome Earle-Sears, a whipsmart, well credentialed, funny, and gracious guest. Her background includes working in prisons and homeless shelters and long experience in government. She was born in Jamaica, is a former Marine, and the first Black woman to be elected to a statewide post in Virginia. Her biography suggests that she has sustained heart-rending losses.
I enjoyed the debate until she said she was the person to have control over what her children experienced in school, and she certainly didn’t want them forced into having a lap dance with a Drag Queen. When Bill expressed doubt that such a thing had ever happened, she countered with disdain, “You should get out of the house more, Bill.”
A lap dance is a sexual experience, and her use of the term is a dripping dog whistle, gilding the “grooming” sneer that has put thousands if not millions of gay or gender non-conforming Americans in danger of being assaulted, insulted, fired, or killed. If she is looking for people who might groom her children for sex, she should look to the most sexually dangerous people in her children’s lives, close friends or relatives. Last in line are a couple of guys dressed up in garish costumes sitting in a public library room with children, their parents, and the librarian watching.
Earle-Sears’s mantra, repeated in several different ways, is “I’ll do me; you do you.” So I won’t cast my next comments as advice, Ms. Earle-Sears has her life very well in order. But I will dare to say that raising one’s children to believe that other people act, dress, talk, walk, and love as you do leaves your children vulnerable to devastating surprises. I grew up in a time when transgender and homosexual people were far away curiosities. Many men and women who wanted a harmonious social life and a family married, had children, then ripped up the whole thing because they couldn’t hack it, bringing about unique devastation. I’ve sometimes tried to imagine what it would be like to be told that if I wanted a family, I would have to spend the rest of my public, private, and intimate life with a woman. After a while, I would crack.
My upcoming memoir, The Sweet Pain of Being Alive, is about my happy, harmonious, interesting married life with a manly man who confessed a few months into our marriage that he enjoyed wearing women’s clothes. I loved him and we lived out our long story, but I witnessed his constant fear that he would be found out. From boyhood, he’d built up a façade that would please Ms. Earle-Sears. He was a brilliant, well-loved professor, but underneath was the fear that the woman in him would peek out at some point and cost him his career, his friends, and his future. In the end, it cost him his life, not at the hand of someone else, as might have happened if he had dressed in women’s clothes, but at his own hand.
Lieutenant Governor Earle-Sears has tens of thousands, maybe millions, of people in her state who will be put at risk by her tales of sexual grooming by drag queens because that term is linked to homosexuality and transgenderism. If any drag queens in her jurisdiction are indulging in “lap dances” with young children, they should be put in the same prison as Jerry Sandusky, Larry Nassar, Dr. Robert Anderson, thousands of named and unnamed priests, and the cousins, uncles, fathers, brothers, and next-door neighbors of so many young children who have been actually molested.