A drag cabaret star in the US city of Philadelphia had an invitation to read to primary school aged children as part of an after school program, revoked, as officials deemed the invitation “inappropriate”.
Martha Graham Cracker was contacted by Mark Simmons, a supervisor at Haddonfield Child Care, and invited to take part in a Read Across America programme. The act was going to be a tribute to Dr Seuss, and Martha would read a Dr Seuss book, and perform child-friendly songs.
Several days later Simmonds discovered that Martha had been uninvited, but said no reason was given.
He said: “I’m in a bit of a quandary here … I’m being told by some of my superiors in this organisation that this guest choice is inappropriate. I cannot, however, get any of them to tell me why or how Martha Graham Cracker reading Dr. Seuss to our after-school program is inappropriate.”
Simmonds had intended to “make a presentation to the company decision-makers with the hopes of changing their minds,” however he was given an official ‘no’ and told not to.
Martha had performed for children before, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and parents had written letters in support of her act, reports Queerty.
One read: “My son, Emerson, has effectively known Martha since before he was born. So I speak from personal experience when I rise up to say that his world is a better, much richer place with Martha in it. Certainly more fabulous, at least. In all seriousness, it is exactly the same kind of creativity and willingness to explore that i try to instill in my 6 yr old son…”
Reports suggest that officials disinvited Martha for being gay, or performing in drag, however no official reason was made clear.