While proponents claim that such public readings being conducted by drag queens celebrates open-mindedness, critics like New South Wales Upper House MP Mark Latham have lashed out at them being totally “inappropriate”. He has expressed concern about such events ultimately serving as a “backdoor” for the Safe Schools campaign, which pushes for greater involvement of LGBT students in the school life.
“Given the way the drag queen program is pushed in municipal libraries, it's highly appropriate for the Education Minister to issue a general directive through NSW schools they must not be part of school libraries”, he said as cited by the Daily Mail.
Last year, the Drag Storytime with a drag queen named Miss Roxee reading in Wollongong, south of Sydney, drew controversy as critics hit out at it, saying that such gatherings were spreading “propaganda” and “sexualising children”.
Meanwhile, the debate shows no signs of abating on Twitter, as respective social media groups advertising the educational services of drag queens in other regions, like the UK and the US, are being set up and increasingly racking up likes.
Yet, many express opposition to such social events, with one earlier stating that such storytelling “desensitises societal feelings about protecting children”.
“Join the Houston Public Library and local Drag Queens for an imaginative storytelling sexually assaulting experience. Picture books, songs and gratification shared by vibrant performers will excite and instill trauma and love for reading for the entire family”, one user tweeted cheekily in March, while another Twitterian opted for a different type of sarcasm:
“It's a little known fact that, when taking a break from storytelling, drag queens hang out in local history libraries reading rare books”, she wrote.
It's a little known fact that, when taking a break from storytelling, drag queens hang out in local history libraries reading rare books. pic.twitter.com/llAE9Lt4pt— Kyla Stephan (@kylastephan) February 2, 2019
Why drag queens are reading stories to kids— Times of India (@timesofindia) June 23, 2019
Activists harness the power of storytelling and workshops in school to teach children the ABC of LGBT issues
READ: https://t.co/8ttvR3tdDG pic.twitter.com/Aj9gmUt7kD
In Australia, drag queen library events are scheduled all across Sydney and its suburban area for the remaining part of the year, while in Melbourne it met with a barrage of criticism last year, Australian media wrote. Most specifically, the gatherings are being run at municipal libraries in Sydney’s south at Kogarah and in inner-city Erskineville, while drag performers have already made visits to Timezone arcades, including at Miranda Fair.