One Nation’s NSW leader Mark Latham has slammed a Drag Queen Story Time event promoting inclusion and diversity as “inappropriate”.
Latham took aim at city council libraries in Kogarah in Sydney’s south and Erskineville in the inner-city for hosting the events.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, he demanded Education Minister Sarah Mitchell issue a directive to prevent state schools from hosting the events too.
He claimed the program is a “backdoor” way of reintroducing the Safe Schools program pushing for greater inclusion for LGBTIQ students.
“The drag queen program is not appropriate for young people in schools,” he said.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate for young people in municipal libraries.
“It’s highly appropriate for the Education Minister to issue a general directive through NSW schools they must not be part of school libraries.”
Mitchell told the New South Wales parliament principals consulted with school communities to make decisions about programs.
But a Georges River Council spokesperson said the drag storytelling event would continue “due to popular demand” and parents had to be in attendance.
“These events provide families with an opportunity to experience positive and inclusive role models in a fun environment,” the spokesperson said.
“They have proved to be enormously popular with our community.”
‘Drag Queen Story Time gives a voice to some kids who might be feeling different’
Local drag performer Charisma Belle (pictured above, left) said the events are “truly for everyone” and a fun and inclusive way of creating a “safe space to ask questions”.
“Drag story time is about opening a dialogue between parents and their children,” Charisma said.
“It gives a voice to some kids who might be feeling different but that are unable to express themselves properly.
“The books we read are about every one’s differences. We cover all different family dynamics, from same sex parents to divorced parents and even adopted families.”
Charisma said the goal of the sessions is entertainment “but also because visibility is so important.”
“Part of my job as a drag performer is to educate and challenge the misinformation that is spread about my community,” she said.
Drag performers have also held the storytelling events at some Timezone arcades in Sydney.
In May, performer Annie Depressant hit back at vile online abuse she received for hosting a Drag Queen Story Time event at a library in Victoria.
Last November, the owners of a Perth bookshop received threats and homophobic abuse for hosting a drag queen story workshop.
Mark Latham has previously described NSW schools as “gender fluidity factories” and claimed students are changing gender “daily as a novelty”.
Last week he helped anti-transgender group Binary Australia launch an info pack they plan to send to hundreds of schools to fight “radical transgender indoctrination”.
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