Authored by Bill Pan via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
New York City and state combined have paid drag performers more than $200,000 for appearances in New York City public schools since 2018, according to a report.
Drag Story Hour NYC, an organization previously known as Drag Queen Story Hour NYC, has received $50,000 from the state’s Council on the Arts, as well as $157,000 from New York City’s departments of Education, Cultural Affairs, Youth and Community Development, and Transportation, according to records obtained by the New York Post.
Since the beginning of this year, Drag Story Hour has organized 49 appearances in 34 elementary, middle, and high schools across the city. The group in May alone made $46,000 in public funds for its appearances at schools, festivals, and libraries.
This year so far has seen the New York City Council spending $80,000 on Drag Story Hour, more than triple the amount spent last year.
These story hours, where performers in drag read to children from 3 to 8 years old, first started in 2015 in San Francisco and have since spread to libraries and schools across the United States. They’re “intended to capture children’s imagination and help children explore their gender fluidity through glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models,” according to the organization’s website.
The books used during the story hours typically focus on homosexuality and concepts such as “gender fluidity.” Two of the popular books, “The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish” and “If You’re a Drag Queen and You Know It,” are authored by a founder of Drag Story Hour and feature classic children’s rhymes rewritten in a way that celebrates the drag lifestyle.
New York Public Library, the largest public library system in the United States, entered a partnership with Drag Story Hour in 2017 and has been holding story hours both in-person and online over the past five years. Despite the sexual nature and often lewdness of drag performances, the library encourages parents to expose their children to drag events and have conversations about them.
“If your child is interested in talking about why the drag queen is dressed up, you can have that conversation in very simple language,” the library states alongside a drag story hour video intended for children aged 2 to 4. “Why do you think this person dresses this way? I think it’s because they love looking beautiful. Isn’t it great how human beings come in all shapes, sizes, and colors? How we dress on the outside sometimes matches how we feel on the inside. How do you feel when you wear your favorite outfit?”
The sponsorship is endorsed by progressive politicians such as Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), a former teacher whose congressional district covers parts of Manhattan and Queens.
“Across the country, books are being banned, which are depriving our nation’s youth,” Maloney wrote on Twitter in April. “But thanks to [New York Public Library] and programs like Drag Queen story hour, NYC’s next generation are getting a well-rounded education about LGBTQ+ issues and gender identity.”
A Republican councilwoman says she can’t stand for taxpayer money being spent on these events.
“I am considering pulling funding to any school in my district that is implementing Drag Queen Story Hour,” Vickie Paladino, who represents Queens in the New York City Council, told the New York Post. “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.”