LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Why are we here?

I am reminded of taking my children to the circus when our oldest was about 7. The show starts, performers in the three rings. Our daughter pats me on the leg, looks up at me and says, “It’s ok mom. They are dressed like that because they are performers!”

If you are worried about the children, they know, drag queens are merely performers in costume. Some of us are old enough to remember Corporal Klinger on the TV show “M*A*S*H.” His chosen attire was a dress. That didn’t make him a demon or dangerous. Most of us watched the great Robin Williams perform as a woman in “Mrs. Doubtfire,” before that Dustin Hoffman was “Tootsie.” My father told us of a man in his town who wore dresses, went off to fight in WWII. When he returned, he put on his dress and went about his business.

LGBTQ is not new. It is not deviant or dangerous. If you believe in God, and all humans are created in God’s image, it makes no sense to spread hate and fear toward a particular group of humans.

All people should be treated with dignity and respect. Propagating and condoning this hate speech disguised as religious, only makes our world more dangerous. There will be increasing hate crimes against the LBGTQ community if legislation is continued to be supported by prejudices espoused in the name of God.

If you are worried about grooming, sex crimes against children, look no further than the Catholic Church, as we all are aware of decades of cover-up. But it isn’t just that church, the Houston Chronicle uncovered years of cover-up by the Southern Baptists. They listed at least 30 church officials in N.C. among the hundreds of officials charged with sex crimes.

The Boy Scouts of America has for years covered up claims of sex crimes, this has recently been reported.

Know that drag queens have no major leadership or organization to protect them. If there was a scandal, it would be known.

As a pediatrician, I have counseled many children and families as the children identify as LGBTQ. The hate speech, religious rhetoric and political agendas make life so much more difficult for these families.

There are young people who feel they shouldn’t be alive as they are so hated. Their families are afraid for their children and for themselves in this volatile environment Again, the church is no place to find such hate.

Remember when you vote to ban drag, it will have far reaching and unforeseen consequences, not in the least of which is increased hate crimes. Our community will not be safe for members of the LGBTQ community. Whether you want to admit this or not, you all know someone from that community.

As for the children, they know, they get it. “They are just in costume.”

Elaine M. Coats, MD, FAAP