EXPLAINER-What is Drag Queen Story Hour and why are the events under attack?

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09/02/2022

Children’s storytime sessions led by drag queens are growing in popularity in countries from the United States to Japan – while fierce opposition campaigns are also gathering pace. Drag Queen Story Hour events aim to introduce children to diverse role models and LGBTQ+ people. Critics say they sexualise and confuse young audiences, claims which have been strongly rebutted by organisers. With protesters picketing events, some in Britain and the United States have had to bring in extra security or have been cancelled altogether. Drag queen performers read children’s books to young audiences and their families. The books that are read sometimes also feature LGBTQ+ characters. The events – usually hosted at public libraries and bookshops – are typically aimed at children aged between three and 11.

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