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Washington state paid a group of drag queens and transgender activists thousands of dollars in taxpayer funds to teach government employees how to “fight for trans liberation,” according to public records and video obtained by The Daily Wire.
The nearly 2-hour long presentation, titled “Drag Story Hour and Fireside Chat,” featured several activists from Drag Story Hour, which hosts events where men in drag read to children at libraries and schools, as well as the Trans Formations Project, an activist group that fights what it calls “anti-trans” legislation, including bills that defend children from irreversible medical interventions that seek to change their sex.
Drag Story Hour was paid $5,000 to participate in the event, which was part of the Washington State Office of Financial Management’s “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Empowerment Conference,” according to a contract obtained by The Daily Wire.
The talk focused on political activism, community organizing, and the role that “allies” should play in the “fight for trans liberation,” according to exclusive video of the presentation. Ace Sutherland, a New York City-based board member for Trans Formations Project, told the government employees that it wanted to “direct” the government on how to help in the fight.
“My message is to make sure that you reach out directly to those who are directly impacted, much like you’re doing today, to ask us how you can help us in our fight for queer and trans liberation,” Ace Sutherland, a New York City-based board member for Trans Formations Project. “We know what we want, and we don’t need anyone speaking over us or for us. We have a voice for ourselves and we will direct you on how to best advocate on our behalf.”
Drag Story Hour Executive Director Johnathan Hamilt, who reads to children while wearing drag, offered attendees specific ways that they could support Drag Story Hour through activism. He discussed an instance where demonstrators protested a drag story hour event and they had “a wall of trans women protecting the drag performer,” but said his group needs “cis white” people to talk to the police and protestors for it.
“We shouldn’t have trans lives on the line,” Hamilt said. “We need that cis white barrier to talk to the police, to face these people, they should be in between us.”
Sutherland also said she wanted the state employees to talk to friends and family about “trans liberation,” arguing that they’re not really friends if they don’t embrace radical gender ideas.
“If your friends are not on the same path as you, they are not your friends,” Sutherland said.
Founder and Executive Director of the Trans Formations Project Alex Petrovina used the taxpayer-funded forum to ask Washington state employees to donate to the 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, providing the attendees with a donation link, QR code, and a way to donate by text.
“You can see we are currently doing a fundraiser, we are, as I said earlier, an entirely volunteer-run organization, which unfortunately is not the most sustainable method of working,” Petrovina said. “Supporting us in this would mean the world and allow us to continue doing the work but not only do the work but do the work more sustainably and protect our people.”
“Donate to the Trans Formations Project to support our legislation and representative tracking work, and work towards trans justice,” a fundraising plea inside the presentation said, alongside the hashtag “PrideInTransJustice.”
Petrovina later went on to urge state employees to use their influence in the government to bolster the transgender movement.
“I also just want to add that as government employees you have more power than you may think you do. You have influence over people’s lives, you have influence over policies, you have influence over how policies are implemented.”
“You need to be intentional and you need to be conscious of doing it through a lens of inclusivity,” Petrovina said.
Hamilt told The Daily Wire that this was the first time that Drag Story Hour had partnered with Washington State, but that the group “had amazing feedback and gratitude from the event and looking forward to working with them again soon.”
The Trans Formations Project did not respond to a request for comment.