A Drag Story Time event—in which drag performers read stories to children—has been cancelled in Dublin after its organisers were targeted with “violent homophobia” over the weekend.
Glitter Hole, the group that organised the event, said their hearts were heavy after Dun Laoghaire Rathdown (DLR) libraries cancelled Drag Story Time. They also criticised the library for citing “age appropriateness” as the reason.
In a Facebook post, the group said that they had been targeted online over the weekend by “a frighteningly large group of bigots who believe that a few drag queens reading books to children amounts to child abuse.”
Drag Story Time: ‘Age appropriateness’ concerns amount to ‘archaic homophobia’
They continued: “The library decided that the event was a safety risk, which we accepted given the scale and gravity of the vitriol that was being spewed on Twitter.
“However, the statement issued by DLR last night cites ‘age appropriateness’ as their reason for cancellation. The implication here is that the content of our drag shows for adults has deemed us inappropriate children’s storytellers. There is no mention in this statement of the safety concerns for the performers and audience of the event due to the ongoing abuse we’re receiving online.”
The group said it was a sign of “archaic homophobia” that the LGBT+ people who were trying to organise a storytelling event for children were being labelled as the problem instead of those firing abuse.
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown libraries said they ‘object to homophobia in all its forms’
DLR libraries clarified their position in a statement released to PinkNews today (April 15). They said that they “object to homophobia in all its forms.”
“As per our social media guidelines, we reserve the right to remove content or comments that may be considered offensive, abusive or defamatory,” the statement said.
“The implication here is that the content of our drag shows for adults has deemed us inappropriate children’s storytellers.”
– Glitter Hole
“Health and Safety is always at the forefront of our concerns. We would like to reassure the public that this event is age-appropriate and family-friendly.”
In the original statement released yesterday (April 14), DLR said: “This event was programmed as an age appropriate, family-friendly story time session. However, following a review in terms of age appropriateness, this event will not now go ahead at this time, and may be rescheduled as part of a future Book Festival lineup.”
Glitter Hole said they are still waiting for an apology
Glitter Hole tweeted today to say that they are still awaiting an apology from DLR libraries for suggesting that the event had been cancelled due to concerns about its “age appropriateness.”
The Drag Story Time initiative has seen uptake across the world and has led to anti-LGBT+ backlash in the United States and New Zealand.
A library in New Zealand held a Drag Story Time event last October and later had their social media accounts flooded with abuse.
Meanwhile, in February, a man turned up to a Drag Queen Story Time event in Houston, Texas with a gun in protest against the event. The man was arrested at the premises.