The Drag Queen Story Hour phenomenon isn't strictly an American thing — it's apparently catching on globally.
Case in point is Devon, England, where a drag queen children's entertainer known as "Mama G" is scheduled to appear at two libraries this week, Devon Live reported — and "will be sharing tales that celebrate being who you are & loving who you want."
Image source: Twitter
But some parents are concerned, saying Mama G is a "sexualized, offensive caricature" who "teaches kids to twerk," the outlet reported.
Here's Mama G in action:
Drag queen teaches children to 'twerk' youtu.be
"Does anybody in this room know how to twerk?" Mama G asks those in the room, which sounds as though young children are present.
The drag performer continues: "All you need to do is you just need to stand with your feet sort of shoulder-width apart like so … and then you crouch down in this sort of position so you're bum's sticking out ... And then you just move your bum up and down like that. And that's twerking."
How did folks respond to news of the drag queen's appearances?
Commenters took to Twitter and weighed in on Mama G's scheduled appearances at the Devon libraries — and some were supportive.
"Absolutely love Mama G," one person noted. "Her storytime at Exeter Phoenix was brilliant and my 2 children adored her. If you want to hate on her shame on you; she wants you to be who you want to be. I know who I'd rather my children spent time with."
But others weren't pleased in the slightest:
- "Wholly inappropriate for children. [Devon Libraries] what on earth were you thinking."
- "Heavens, this abomination is in UK now. Twerking for toddlers. Hiding in plain sight."
- "FFS this is so not appropriate for children. It's disgusting misogynistic, over-sexualized, and wrong on so many levels."
- "This is obnoxious, disrespectful and borderline child abuse. Please stop at once."
How did the libraries respond?
Libraries Unlimited, which runs Devon's libraries on behalf of Devon County Council, offered the following statement to Devon Live:
Story times and bounce and rhyme sessions are some of our most popular events across the county, with thousands of children attending each year. We host a variety of themed storytimes and they are always a huge success.
As a charity, we are committed to ensuring our libraries are welcoming, safe and inclusive places for all. We celebrate the arts, equality and diversity and are proud that our libraries offer a space for communities to come together and enjoy the power of words, reading and storytelling.
At Libraries Unlimited we take our safeguarding responsibilities very seriously and have a safeguarding policy that is followed by all staff across the organization.
In this case, we can also confirm that the artist involved has a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
Libraries are open to all, and we hope that everyone will find something suitable for them amongst our diverse range of activity across Devon and Torbay.
(H/T: Life Site News)