By Micaela Burrow, Daily Caller News Foundation
A U.S. Air Force library plans to stage a gay pride-themed storytime on Thursday and is promoting a list of books for children that advocate gender transition in commemoration of Pride month, according to the library’s website.
The pride-themed storytime is planned for Thursday at 10:30 a.m., a calendar posted on the Ramstein & Vogelweh Air Force Libraries Facebook page shows, alongside cartoonish illustrations and descriptions of additional family-oriented programs scheduled for the week of June 12.
The library urges readers to “show your pride and celebrate Rainbow Book Month and Pride Month” with curated titles aimed at children and teens telling stories of young children and teenagers adopting different gender identities on their own, according to the reading list.
“Books show us every color of the rainbow,” the website states.
The pride story hour is scheduled for the same time slot as the library’s usual family story time. A calendar for the library’s summer programs notes that “Family Story Times” featuring activities “for the whole family” are held weekly at 10:30 a.m. on Thursdays at Ramstein.
“A pride event for toddlers is completely inappropriate in any venue,” Republican Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “To hold one at a U.S. military base is a partisan abuse of taxpayer dollars and a slap in the face to military families.”
One book on the library’s reading list, “Julián Is A Mermaid,” tells the story of a young boy who begins dressing as a mermaid after seeing three dazzling women mermaids in public, according to a description by Common Sense Media. His grandmother ignores him initially, but by the end of the story she takes him to a “parade” reminiscent of a pride parade where everyone is dressed as a mermaid.
Others, such as “Jacob’s Room To Choose” and “I’m Not A Girl,” feature young main characters who adopt different “gender expressions” and persuade their schools and teachers to accept the idea of gender nonconformity, according to descriptions linked by the library.
The Ramstein library links to the Department of Defense’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation library hosted on a third party platform for a description of “It Feels Good To Be Yourself.”
“Some people are boys. Some people are girls. Some people are both, neither, or somewhere in between,” the description reads. “This sweet, straightforward exploration of gender identity will give children a fuller understanding of themselves and others.”
A disclaimer on the library’s website attempts to distance the Air Force from the content depicted in the linked websites.
“The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the 86 FSS Libraries, the United States Air Force, or the Department of Defense of this site, or the information, products or services contained therein,” the disclaimer says. “For other than authorized activities” the Air Force “does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations.”
Ramstein Air Base headquarters United States Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa and NATO Allied Air Command in Germany and is part of the largest American military community outside of the U.S., according to the installation’s website.
Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio attacked the same military base in 2022 for planning to host a drag queen story hour for children at the site’s library, exposing children to “sexually charged content.” The Air Force canceled the event following Rubio’s criticisms, according to a press release.
The Air Force did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
Pentagon Created Pride Coloring Book For Children (By Micaela Burrow, Daily Caller News Foundation, 14 Jun 23)
The Department of Defense (DOD) created a Pride-themed coloring book for military kids amid a cross-military service push to celebrate Pride month.
DOD announced the theme for Pride month in 2023 was “Equality Without Exception — Pride In All Who Serve,” and planned to host activities through various sub-agencies, including parades and family story hours, to observe Pride month.
The activity booklet is geared toward younger audiences, according to DOD’s Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), which is noted on the final page as having published the book, and was promoted to children by other DOD entities, the Daily Caller News Foundation found.
The coloring book, dated in June, appears to be among various training and awareness materials the Pentagon created to aid Pride observances, which are featured on the dedicated DEOMI webpage.
“The Activity Book is designed to share with your younger event attendees but can be enjoyed by all ages. It showcases coloring pages and encourages learning through games and activities,” DEOMI wrote. It did not provide a link to the book, so it couldn’t be determined with 100% certainty that DEOMI was referring to the coloring book.
However, the Ramstein and Vogelweh libraries serving a large American military community in Germany, encouraged kids to “Download and complete the DoD Children’s Pride Activity Booklet,” linking to the coloring book with the DEOMI press logo, and instructions to visit the website for more information.
The first page shows a flag with each line labeled one color of the rainbow, encouraging children to embellish the flag accordingly. “Respect, dignity” and “service” are written in the flag.
Other drawings are marked with slogans urging children to “think before you speak” and “use your smile to change the world.” Another activity is aimed at reinforcing the idea that harsh words can damage someone else’s heart.
A quote emblazoned on the final page, “We are all unique, and have our own special place in the puzzle of the universe,” highlights a depiction of a globe cracked open, with puzzle pieces spilling out.