Florida bans LGBTQ content in schools. Virginia follows suit. Tennessee bans gender-affirming care for children. But now this legacy has hit all too close to home–in our very state of California.
Diane Pearce is a City Councilmember in the city of Clovis in Fresno County. In June 2023, she posted the following on her Facebook, starting a chain of arguments within the comments:
Unfortunately, this is not the first time Councilmember Pearce has made these remarks. See below:
These are three very different issues that require separate, nuanced refutes for each. A response to Councilmember Pearce’s latest comment can be found in this article. In short, discussions of gender and sexuality are not “too mature.” Reading about being gay does not make you gay, and even if it did, there is no reason why being gay makes children “less” (a necessary assumption of the argument made).
What’s even more ironic is that the books Councilmember Pearce decides to cite are not sexual or mature at all.
“Alex is both a boy and a girl. This is Alex’s gender identity.”
Nowhere did that line translate to “you are transgender/nonbinary.” Knowing that children have the option to identify differently is perfectly okay–it is better that they know about gender/sexuality early on in an accepting manner to avoid feelings of stigma, shame, and confusion in the future. Parental rights don’t mean parents can do whatever they want–they have a responsibility to ensure the well-being of their children, which includes the creation of an accepting environment.
Furthermore, it’s ironic that Councilmember Pearce calls drag queens “scary” (the outfits in the picture do not reveal any private body parts nor are they any different from a regular Halloween costume) and then equates drag queens to “strippers.” The two are nothing alike–the drag queens at the zoo event were not stripping. They were not harassing children. They showed nothing but kindness and compassion, adding a bit of spice and community involvement to the special event.
In the same way that one would pay a street singer or a clown making little kids balloons, nothing differentiates drag queens. The only “tragic” part of the event was where adults like Councilmember Pearce found the idea of gender non-conformity as “scary” and “sexual.”
What’s even more enraging is that she picked the most holy, angelic-looking picture of the Bible. Other than the issue of separation of church and state (a politician telling people to religiously pray!), you don’t see people like Councilmember Pearce criticizing the Bible for being harmful to children. Is it not harmful to teach that there are only two genders? Is it not harmful to show children the vulgar scenes in the Bible, such as the circumcision of Zipporah’s son or cannibal mothers?
The bottom line is, that politicians like Councilmember Pearce selectively use their arguments to target communities like the LGBT. She is entitled to her own opinion, but when she dissuades people from supporting libraries in a month that is meant to be about celebration and inclusion, she is contributing to a larger ideology that materially harms millions. The call to action in our previous article is not just a matter of being performative or supporting LGBT members–it is criticizing a rampant and growing ideology that could very much be the difference between love and hate within a community so dear.
Stay tuned for more argumentative pieces on drag and transgender athletes soon!