The New York Post reported that Drag Story Hour NYC, a nonprofit that hosts events for kids as young as 3, was awarded $46,000 worth of city contracts for appearances at public schools, street festivals, and libraries, according to records. They’ve raked in $207,000 since 2018.
The group has apparently put on 49 drag programs in 34 public elementary, middle, and high schools around New York City’s five boroughs, they shared on their website.
According to the publication, parents are not always informed these events are happening at their children’s schools.
“I am considering pulling funding to any school in my district that is implementing Drag Queen Story Hour,” Queens City Council member Vickie Paladino said in response to the news.
“We are taking hundreds of thousands of dollars out of the pockets of hardworking New York taxpayers … to fund a program teaching little children about their gender fluidity? Not. On. My. Watch,” Paladino stated.
CBS News reported that she called the program “Unacceptable and grotesque” and in another she called it “Child grooming and sexualization.”
“I’m totally against it,” Paladino said. “They come in very exposed. It’s provocative, for a six-year old and an eight-year-old. You know, if they want to do this in public libraries, Marcia, they have a choice. The parents have a choice and I’m all about choice. If they want to take the child to a library, by all means go to the library. Go enjoy it, if that’s what you want to expose your child to.”
“I believe there’s a time and a place for it. It’s adult entertainment,” the city council member concluded.
After being attacked by critics, Paladino doubled down and refused to apologize.
“I would like to make one thing very clear: I am NOT apologizing or redacting my statement against using taxpayer dollars to fund Drag Queen Story Hour in our public schools,” the Queens councilwoman said in a statement Friday night. “This type of political, social, and cultural indoctrination of our little children – often without parental consent – is completely unacceptable and inappropriate, and I refuse to stand for it.”
Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Eric Adams has endorsed drag events for kids.
“Drag storytellers, and the libraries and schools that support them, are advancing a love of diversity, personal expression, and literacy that is core to what our city embraces,” Adams said in a press release.
“At a time when our LGBTQ+ communities are under increased attack across this country, we must use our education system to educate,” the mayor continued. “The goal is not only for our children to be academically smart, but also emotionally intelligent.”