Colorado Health Clinic Invited Children With Autism To Drag Story Hour: Report
Chelsea, MA – June 25: Drag queen Just JP reads stories to children during a Drag Story Hour at Chelsea Public Library in Chelsea, MA on June 25, 2022. (Erin Clark/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

A Colorado health clinic that works with autistic children allegedly held a Drag Story Hour earlier this month, which included “age appropriate” performances by five drag artists.

The Daily Signal first reported Seven Dimensions Behavioral Health, a state-licensed day treatment program that uses Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy primarily used for patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), sent an email in May to parents advertising the controversial event that was scheduled on June 10.

In the email addressed to “7D Families,” the clinic promoted a “June Make Up” event in the facility’s Evergreen Clinic, asking parents to fill out an attached permission form if their child planned on attending the Drag Strory Hour.

“This is a drag story hour that will include a mix of stories/activities and age appropriate performances by 5 drag artists,” the email continued, which allegedly included performers named Sunni Delight, Brennan Sexyback, August Celestial, Jaques Strapp, and JustinN’Out.

“There will be 3 stories and two activities: Auntie Uncle-Drag Queen Here, The Girl Who Thought In Pictures Thought in Pictures, If You’re a Kid Like Gavin, Parachute party and freeze dance. Parachute party includes a rainbow parachute that the kids hold onto making the parachute go up and down and/or the kids go under the parachute while RBTs wiggle the parachute for the kids,” the email continued.

RBTs, or Registered Behavior Technicians, are certified professionals licensed to provide direct, one-on-one therapy to children with autism using ABA therapy.

The national parental rights group Parents Defending Education (PDE) first obtained the email.

“Rather than upholding its oath to ‘do no harm,’ this clinic is betraying the trust of families in need who have come to them for help,” PDE President Nicole Neily told The Daily Signal. “It is unconscionable that medical providers would target programming at a vulnerable population.”


PDE submitted a public records request to Jeffco Public Schools in Jefferson County, Colorado, to investigate if the health clinic had a formal agreement with the district, according to The Daily Signal. The outlet reported a contract does exist between the two institutions that end on June 30, 2023.

“‘That contract states that their payment for ‘special educational and related services in Out-of-District placement’ is ‘not to exceed $250,000 for all Orders in any Contract Term,’” the outlet reported.

Children and adolescents on the autism spectrum are disproportionately represented among the large, newly emerging cohort of children claiming to be transgender. Over the past 10 years, there have been at least nine studies connecting ASD and transgender identities. Rates of autistic traits in these studies range from 5% to 54% among those with gender dysphoria, significantly higher than among the general population.

Some researchers believe the percentage of young girls with autism who believe they’re experiencing gender dysphoria is actually higher, and that many females who have autism go undiagnosed. Up until recently, autism was considered a “boy’s diagnosis,” affecting males-to-females by a ratio of 4-to-1. Experts now believe that girls’ autistic traits present differently, which may require a separate diagnostic criteria to detect.

Data from the now-shuttered Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) at the U.K.’s Tavistock Centre found that autistic adolescents were significantly overrepresented in the population of referrals to the clinic. Pediatrician Dr. Hilary Cass was commissioned to conduct a review of the services provided by the National Health Service and investigate why there has been such a huge rise in the number of adolescent biological girls seeking referrals to gender clinics.

In March, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported an alarming link between children with autism and the transgender population. Research reported by the outlet showed people who identify as transgender are three to six times more likely to be autistic.

Dr. Susan Bradley, a Canadian psychiatrist who began working with gender dysphoric children in the 1970s, told the outlet that medical industry professionals have been exploiting children with high-functioning autism by convincing them they are transgender.

“When somebody happens to mention that, you know, they’re trans or they hear about trans kids and go online, even if all they do is say, ‘I wonder if I’m trans,’ a lot of these kids are automatically accepted. ‘Well, you must be trans if you’ve even thought about that.’ And for them, that is a very helpful reaction, because all of a sudden, they feel as though that explains all of the trouble all the way along,” Bradley told the DCNF.

Christina Buttons contributed to this report.

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