Parents say they weren’t given the opportunity to remove their children from the shows
The New York City Council has spent more than $200,000 of taxpayer dollars on drag queen performances at schools across the city since 2018, the New York Post reported Saturday. The shows featured cross-dressing performers interacting with children as young as three, and some parents are furious they weren’t given the chance to pull their children out.
Since January, Drag Story Hour NYC has held 49 events at 34 public elementary, middle and high schools across the city, the Post reported, noting that the group earned $46,000 last month alone. Since 2018, the group has received $207,000 from New York State and the city’s departments of education, cultural affairs, youth, and even transportation.
Most of that money came from city council members’ discretionary budgets, and another $80,000 has been set aside to bring cross-dressing men into classrooms and libraries this year.
Drag Story Hour NYC shows are described by New York Public Libraries as “inclusive and gender-affirming programs”, in which men dressed in colorful clothes give children a sample of “LGBTQ reads…with lots of song and glitz along the way.” The group has been putting on shows in public libraries across the city since 2017.
While some parents told the Post they welcome such shows in schools, others were furious. “I received no notice,” a parent told the newspaper. “My daughter actually came home and told me that a drag queen came to school…I feel like this conversation would have been better off at home. “
“Exposing children to drag queens at school is nothing but an abuse of authority in an attempt to sexualize children,” activist Dr Elana Fishbein told the Post, calling the program “a blatant disregard for the real needs of the students. The Department of Education had no comment when asked by the outlet whether performers had to pass background checks before interacting with children.
Pictures of a “kid friendly” The drag show at a Texas gay bar last weekend went viral after children were seen waving dollar bills at performers and joining the queens on stage under a sign that read “It’s not going to lick.” The footage prompted Republican lawmakers to introduce legislation banning such shows, and follow-up shows at the same bar were picketed by conservative protesters accusing organizers of “grooming” children.
Meanwhile in Washington, DC, pictures showing children and toddlers marching in a ‘Pride’ parade behind a topless man with breasts sparked outrage online over the weekend.
Last year, the CEO of an LGBT advocacy group responsible for funding drag queen storytime events in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was arrested and charged with seven counts of child pornography. He was sentenced to nine years in prison.
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