I keep thinking that the controversy involving drag queens reading stories to young children at public libraries will die down. I’ve already written two posts about the national debate and a flare-up in Houston when it was discovered that one of the “queens” was a sex offender.
But more stuff keeps on popping up.
About six weeks after the first sex offender was revealed –- the program was cancelled with promises that this was a mistake that would never be repeated again -– the activist group Mass Resistance has discovered a second sex offender among the Houston “queens.”
LifeSite News ran a story by Mass Resistance about this and although we don’t typically cover activist news media, I’m making an exception here because journalists in the mainstream Texas media have been so derelict on this story. The LifeSite report also includes sources and references to public documents that other journalists could have used as hooks to begin research.
For those of you new to it all, MassResistance activists exposed a Houston Public Library drag queen as a convicted child sex offender in mid-March. Then the Houston Chronicle reported that, despite the protests, the library officials wish to restore drag queen story hour sometime this summer. But Mass Resistance wasn’t done yet.
Now, it turns out that a second Houston Public Library Drag Queen was convicted of multiple sexual assaults against young children, according to records uncovered by Houston MassResistance activists. The man has also written a lurid article describing his work as a transgender prostitute. And he was photographed at a Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) event carrying a rubber chicken — a symbol used by homosexuals to indicate a sexual preference for young boys.
This man is part of the local Drag Queen group brought in to do the "Story Hour" events. We now know that local group is part of a bigoted national anti-Catholic Drag Queen organization.
That would be the San Francisco-based Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
The Houston man identified by MassResistance activists is William Travis Dees. He is a member of the "Space City Sisters" Drag Queen group. … As part of these DQSH events, Dees has served as a "greeter" for young children as they came into the library, among other roles.
According to criminal records uncovered by Houston MassResistance activists, Dees was convicted in 2004 of sex crimes against four young children (ages 4, 5, 6, and 8), was jailed, and is listed as a "high risk sex offender." MassResistance activists have also identified numerous aliases which Dees uses for his various characters and personas.
Since Dees was 16 years old at the time of his conviction, his record is "sealed" and not posted on government sites. However, it is available from other sex-offender record sources.
(If this man’s name sounds familiar, especially to history buffs, William Travis was the doomed Texas commander at the battle of the Alamo where more than 180 Texans died in 1836.)
Mass Resistance identified Dees as the person on the far left of the main photo at the top of this post. He is sporting a blue feather boa.
My question is: Where are the local media on this? If one guy was a sex offender, what were the chances (pretty high, as it turned out) that others in this group are/were as well? Did journalists with any mainstream Houston media bother to do some Google or public record searches?
The library has not denied any of this, so one is led to believe there is credence in what Mass Resistance has to say. The group’s press release/article goes on to detail Dees’ more unsavory aspects and what happened when Mass Resistance called a second press conference to announce yet another sex offender.
On April 3, Houston MassResistance called a press conference outside of the public library, just as they did the last time. Local media showed up, as before.
But afterwards there was virtually no local coverage. And not a peep from any public officials. It was eerie. The following day, MassResistance activists were part of a local Fox 26 TV interview show about the news, but later that show was mysteriously removed from the TV station's website.
I checked and that appears to be the case. It’s like everyone at the presser took one look at each other and agreed this was not a story. Can you imagine the fuss had it been shown that the drag queens had been members of the Ku Klux Klan? The media coverage would be non-stop. In this case, it’s anything but.
CBN ran a small article on the matter that covered no new ground, but that’s about as far as it went, media-wise.
By the way, here’s the drag queens’ side of the story, dated March 19. The basic facts are confirmed.
News broke that one of our former readers was a sex offender. She was part of story time before HPL started enforcing background checks for every performer, and hasn’t been back since they started. When Trent spoke to the queen in question this weekend, she confirmed that she had been convicted in 2009. It was devastating. We had insisted and insisted that what we were doing was safe for children, and yet here was a performer who had been charged with sexual assault of a minor. We didn’t know about the conviction prior to last week, but it would have come up if a background check had been conducted. It was a systematic mistake.
Now this is the first I’ve heard of any background checks being performed. It doesn’t say when these checks were instituted. This March 17 Houston Chronicle story on the library’s apology sure didn’t mention any.
The queens’ statement continues:
Everyone who has performed since October — including ourselves — has undergone a background check and has clean records. It is frustrating that the past conviction of a single performer now undermines the efforts of three dozen other drag kings and queens who have delighted parents and children alike with songs, costumes, and most importantly, stories.
So how did this William Travis Dees slip through the net? More seriously, what’s up with the media not covering this continuing story? Why would Fox management have taken the video down from their site?
A lot of things aren’t adding up here but, sadly, the Houston Chronicle (my old newspaper) isn’t in a rush to get to the bottom of it all. And if two convicted men turned up in the drag queen lineup in Houston, how many other “queens” who are being featured in other DQSH times countrywide may also be criminals?
It’s a question worth asking. There might be a news story here.
The same media that goes after sexually abusive Catholic priests — with good cause, obviously — needs to cover what the drag queens have in their backgrounds as well.