New York Attorney General Letitia James announced this week that she’s “proud” to host “Drag Story Hour” for families with children in Manhattan, prompting conservative backlash.
Her announcement on Instagram noted that community leaders and elected officials will join the drag storytellers in the four-hour event on Sunday. The read-a-thon is sponsored by the New York, Queens and Brooklyn public libraries in conjunction with Drag Story Hour NYC.
Alt-right-driven culture wars have spilled over into violence at recent drag storytelling events elsewhere. A reading in Wadsworth, Ohio, was interrupted by hundreds of white supremacist demonstrators, some armed. Melees broke out.
In Tennessee, Gov. Bill Lee (R) made drag illegal when “male or female impersonators” perform where a minor can see them.
Not surprisingly, right-wing critics didn’t share James’ enthusiasm for the upcoming New York event. Unfounded claims that drag shows “groom” kids have paved the way for extremist pushback to the family-friendly events.
“This kind of explicit targeting of children is just evil,” former Donald Trump campaign spokesperson Steve Cortes wrote in retweeting a post by anti-trans author Ashley St. Clair.
Matt Antar, finance chair of the New York Young Republican Club, tweeted: “Why?? Why???? What is the purpose of government funded drag queens for children? To teach tolerance? BS. Drag is a profession, not a “type of person.” A profession where adult men do exaggerated female impersonations often scantily clad with sexual themes… This is not the way.”
“Grownups want to dress in drag? More power to them. But what is this fascination with wanting people to bring their kids to your drag show?” Alex Ferrer, a retired Miami judge formerly of the TV courtroom show “Judge Alex,” wrote.
HuffPost has reached out to James’ office for comment.