A viral video on TikTok shows a drag performer suggestively dancing in front of a young girl in what some argue is child abuse masked as inclusivity.
The video, which social media app TikTok took down — other copies were made and shared widely across other avenues — shows a scantily-clad drag queen sauntering provocatively and then crawling up to the young girl and then kneeling down next to her in what seems to be the start of a lap dance.
The drag performer is Tynomi Banks, according to multiple reports, who is based in Toronto, Canada. Banks' Facebook page under "gender" indicates "female" but the drag queen is believed to be biologically male. The video was posted to TikTok on Feb. 9.
The event at which Banks performed is believed to have taken place the day before because Banks' website notes a Feb. 8 "Drag Brunch" at Dominion Pub and Kitchen in Toronto. The restaurant also lists the event and in a promotional video a wall is seen with the word "LOVE" displayed in large letters. The wall seems to the same one shown in photos of the restaurant on the Canadian Fab Restaurants website.
The video goes on to show Banks handing the girl what appears to be a dollar bill and then stroking the girl’s hair and embracing her. The footage is captioned at one point: “This sweet little girl asked her mom to get a better view.”
The young girl is seen seated on a chair and is surrounded by adults who cheer and look on approvingly.
Reactions against the display were strong on social media, with many Twitter users expressing their disgust.
"Revolting, vile, evil, infuriating. All those words and many others come to mind," commented Matt Walsh, a conservative commentator and author with The Daily Wire, speaking of the TikTok video on Monday.
"This is child abuse. And everybody, all the adults in that room in that video should be going to prison. In a sane and just society, what you would see in that video at the end are a bunch of police officers breaking the door down and cuffing those people."
The proliferation of drag queens performing for children at events hosted in public, particularly in community libraries, has spread across the English-speaking world and has been attracting criticism from across the spectrum.
Writing in Spiked-Online Tuesday, women's rights campaigner Jo Bartosch opined that she finds displays like Drag Queen Story Time, DQST for short, "sinister" in that it undermines the dignity of women and communicates damaging messages to impressionable minds that have not had time to develop any intolerance of others.
"The male drag performers going into schools and libraries are routinely introduced to children as ‘she.’ In this way, far from challenging stereotypes, DQST performances underscore the idea that womanhood is a gaudy, sexualized costume. Children are introduced to the use of preferred pronouns and the concept, popularized by queer theory, that ‘gender is a performance,'" she said.
"At a fundamental level, this creates a disjuncture between what the child knows to be true and what the child is compelled to say. In this way, DQST teaches compliance; it is the conceit of arrogant activists who seek to indoctrinate children, not educate them. That this is happening under the guise of ‘inclusivity’ and within libraries and schools is a bitter irony."
Launched in 2017, TikTok is a video-sharing social networking service that is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company that was founded in 2012, and is used to make short comedy and talent videos, often involving lip-syncing.