Drag queen story time classes for primary school children in council libraries have sparked fury from parents over the “sexualised” appearance of men dressed as women.
Almost 70 events in 20 areas of Britain will be visited by Drag Queen Story Hour UK, a group running sessions for three to 11-year-olds, in a summer tour starting later this month.
The project is run by Sab Samuel, a 27-year-old male children’s author, who performs as Aida H Dee in a sequined dress with heavy make-up, and champions autistic causes.
The classes, which begin at Reading Borough Council libraries on July 25 and will involve 3,000 children, claim to “teach inclusivity” and encourage attendees to “get fabulous”. They are promoted on council websites and social media.
But they have prompted a backlash from parents, some of whom have tried to block-book tickets to stop the shows from going ahead.
Dozens of parents have sent model letters by the Family Education Trust, a charity, which tells councils the sessions are “highly inappropriate given that the images of men dressed as women are highly sexualised”.
The letter adds: “To try to blind children to one of the most basic facts of human existence can only be described as a form of child abuse.
“Children who experience gender identity issues need careful and sensitive care, not wholesale indoctrination.”
The Safe Schools Alliance, a campaign group of teachers and parents, said that “drag queens entering children’s environments is an abuse of power” and at odds with the Department for Education guidance, which insists upon “evidence-based” teaching.
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