‘An evil agenda’: Kansas City officials’ video reading of children’s gender transition book whips up storm of revulsion

Top Kansas City officials seem to have gone out of their way to choose a children’s gender-transition book to read to kids on a video for National Reading Day.

Mayor Quinton Lucas, City Manager Brian Platt and several council members took turns reading the children’s picture book Introducing Teddy: a gentle story about gender and friendship. The book cleverly uses an inanimate object, a teddy bear, to introduce children to the idea of changing genders, and apparently to induce them to accept it.

Amazon says the book by author Jessica Walton and illustrator Dougal MacPherson “introduces the youngest readers to understanding gender identity and transition in an accessible and heart-warming story about being true to yourself and being a good friend.

“Errol and his teddy, Thomas, are best friends who do everything together. Whether it’s riding a bike, playing in the tree house, having a tea party, or all of the above, every day holds something fun to do.

“One sunny day, Errol finds that Thomas is sad, even when they are playing in their favorite ways. Errol can’t figure out why, until Thomas finally tells Errol what the teddy has been afraid to say: ‘In my heart, I’ve always known that I’m a girl teddy, not a boy teddy. I wish my name was Tilly, not Thomas.’ And Errol says, ‘I don’t care if you’re a girl teddy or a boy teddy! What matters is that you are my friend’.”

“Sick,” says former Kansas City Councilwoman Heather Hall. “Is this the responsibility of municipal government?”

The city council and mayor last May voted to declare the city a safe haven for “gender-affirming healthcare” – likely in answer to the state’s consideration of restrictions on transgender treatments for minors.

But the public reading of a gender transition book aimed at children – by the mayor himself, as well as other senior city officials – goes further, appearing intended to give gender transition an official air of legitimacy, if not encouragement.

“The grooming of our children is on full display,”  Alexandra Schweitzer, co-founder of Parents on Patrol in Wisconsin, told The Heartlander. “This is no longer a progressive, liberal agenda; it is an evil agenda, the slow erosion of parental rights and the government takeover of our children. In other words, the progression of the communist agenda.”

“Just 20% of elementary students in Kansas City Public Schools are proficient in reading,” Nicole Neily, president and founder of Parents Defending Education, told The Heartlander. “Clearly these officials are more interested in playing gender politics than actually helping students – and that’s shameful.”

“Why is the left constantly trying to sexualize children? Let kids be kids!” exhorted Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, who last year issued a rule requiring libraries to set local policies and standards for the age appropriateness and availability of such materials.

“What was the purpose of picking this book over other great classics?” asks City Councilman Nathan Willett, who was asked to participate in the reading but declined. “The goal should be to promote reading to children, not play into culture wars of the far left. Seems like my colleagues were virtue signaling to social justice warriors rather than promoting reading to children & families.

“What happened to reading Dr. Seuss? Or stories that everyone can enjoy? I would have been the first to sign up to read books without an agenda. My colleagues have the right to read whatever they want to, but I question the rationale of promoting this from the official city account.”

“How absolutely disgusting and unacceptable that elected officials would foist their gender ideology on these young children,” said Charlotte O’Hara, a commissioner from nearby Johnson County, Kansas. “Abuse is too lenient of a term to describe this atrocious behavior towards our children.”

Commenters had a field day with it all on the X account known as Libs of TikTok, whose post of the city’s video had 1.6 million views as of midday Wednesday.

“TRUST and BELIEVE them when they tell you who they are and they’re ‘coming for your children’,” one wrote.

“Make it make sense,” wrote former Kansas City sports writer Jason Whitlock.

“Every single person in this video should lose their job,” wrote another commenter.

Other online comments included:

“Anyone trying to sexualize the youth at such a young age is a pervert.”

“State-sponsored grooming.”

“Why my kids are homeschooled.”

“Oh look @MayorLucasKC you made it on Libs of TikTok for pushing gender ideology on kids. What a proud moment this must be.”

“Disgusting! They had a great opportunity to do something positive and they chose to tell children they are born in the wrong body.”

“Confusing children about their gender (who were not questioning it before), will not end well. [Look] for a wave of worse depression and suicides a few years down the road, as a consequence.”


“No, Teddy. What matters more — even than friendship — is truth. Even when it’s hard to hear.”

“This is what GROOMING looks like. Grooming kids to believe in the make-believe. Grooming kids into believing that sex and gender and sexuality can mean anything anyone says they mean. Grooming kids to believe the lie they can be ‘born in the wrong body’ or ‘change their sex.’”

The Heartlander reached out to a spokesperson for a comment from Mayor Lucas.

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