Ella Wills — Evening Standard Nov 12, 2017
Drag queens are being brought into nursery schools for storytelling sessions to teach children from the age of two about issues such as gender fluidity.
Bristol-based organisation Drag Queen Story Time (DQST) runs reading sessions with ‘queer role models’ for young children in schools, libraries and hospitals.
Launched by Bristol University Law graduate Thomas Canham, the project aims to teach children about transgender issues through storytelling, in addition to misogyny, homophobia and racism.
The 26-year-old was inspired to set up the project after learning about a similar scheme in the US named Drag Queen Story Hour.
It was so lovely to see so many of you lovely people at Zion yesterday! We hope you enjoyed yourself and look forward to seeing you again! pic.twitter.com/o1eX9rkWUj
— Drag Queen StoryTime (@dqst_uk) October 18, 2017
Nursery bosses said the sessions are needed so that children encounter people “who defy rigid gender restrictions”, according to the Mail on Sunday.
They reportedly want to target two and three-year-olds in order to influence them early against hate crime.
Children this age have not yet developed any discriminatory ‘isms’, it was suggested.
But critics told the Mail that the sessions could “blind impressionable children of two and three to one of the most basic facts of human existence”.
Child psychotherapist Dilys Daws, co-author of the book Finding Your Way With Your Baby, feared the sessions could confuse young children about their own sexual identity.
She said: “There’s this idea that’s sweeping the country that being transgender is an ‘ordinary situation’.
“It’s getting so much publicity that it’s getting children thinking that they might be transgender when it otherwise wouldn’t have occurred to them.
“But it’s perfectly normal for most young children to think about being the opposite sex. It’s probably because they are identifying with a parent or sibling.”
DQST will hold sessions at seven nurseries run by the London Early Years Foundation (LEYF) over the winter, the newspaper reported.
If successful they are apparently due to be rolled out across the nursery’s 37 sites.