I'm tired of kids hogging all the attention. Let adults be adults

No. 200 - Do It For The Kids

What are we skinning? The political and social media backlash to the 'Dancing With Pride' event held in Valletta on Monday, whose organisers were taken to task for 'exposing' children to non-cisgendered performers during what was otherwise a family-friendly event.

Why are we skinning it? Because it's a perfect x-ray of the island's attitude towards LGBITQ+ legislation and advocacy: stellar on paper, far less so on the ground.

So, the paper was crumpled up in a ball, thrown on the ground and trampled by an angry mob? Yes, only it was an opposite 'mob' to the one congregated around the parliament building in Valletta on that fateful Monday.

How so? Well, the hypothetical mob that would trample over LGBTIQ-friendly legislation would not be made up of a colourful gathering of kids, grown-ups and families of all ages...

How can you be so sure? Because the ones complaining would be of a duller disposition, surely.

I think you're wrong there. Assuming that anyone who doesn't agree with you is instantly an 'Other' is the key mistake here. Hmm, you may be on to something.

Certain attitudes prevail because they've been normalised. The backlash to the otherwise innocent song-and-dance session is proof of that. True, converting heart-and-minds takes longer and harder work, of which ground-breaking legislation is only a small part.

For example, equating any expression of LGBTIQ+ characteristics with overt sexual behaviour a priori is one example. Yes, a kid is allowed to observe a man and a woman holding hands and/or dancing in an otherwise PG-13 public context with no hassle.

But sometimes parents would be asked to explain to their kids what being gay is. Call me when they're trying to explain to them why the climate crisis is rendering the air unbreathable 'cos grandpa refused to recycle...

However, I must say that I, too, found the event offensive. Oh?

I mean, the music was terrible. That's true. I've managed to scrub the Scatman out of my mind from the mid-90s and now he's burrowed his way into my ear canal yet again.

Didn't it make you nostalgic, though? Let kids be kids, they said, and I agree: I have no intention of reliving those years (and the terrible dance music that came along with them) in adulthood.

Do say: "Bringing up kids comes with a unique set of challenges that should never be discounted or forgotten. However, watching a person in drag perform a family-friendly dance in a public square is hardly nightmare fuel for most kids, and should be even less so for their fully-grown adult wards."

Don't say: "I'm tired of kids hogging all the attention. Let adults be adults."