NEW YORK (TND) — Drag-themed events for kids have become a topic of heated debate during Pride Month, particularly in New York City.
A number of NYC politicians, including Mayor Eric Adams, have publicly announced support for “drag queen story hour” activities for kids, after Republican Councilwoman Vickie Paladino threatened to strip funding from any school in her district “participating in ‘drag queen’ degeneracy.”
“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,” Adams continued. “The goal is not only for our children to be academically smart, but also emotionally intelligent.”
The drag-themed story time activities also garnered support from other NYC politicians following councilwoman Paladino’s sharp criticism.
“Drag Queen Story Hour brings wonder to kids while building their self-esteem, and I'm proud to support them in my district with budget allocations,” tweeted NYC councilwoman Gale Brewer. “I stand firmly with my LGBTQ+ colleagues, and commend @NYCSpeakerAdams for her leadership.”
City officials have gotten slammed for allocating hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to a nonprofit that puts together controversial “drag queen story hour” events for kids.
Read more: “Taxpayers footing bill for 'drag story hour' children's events in NYC, records show”
For the current fiscal year, the New York City Council set aside $80,000 for the group, tripling what it allocated last year, according to The Post. Just last month, Drag Story Hour NYC, which holds events for children as young as 3 years old, earned over $46,000 in government contracts, city data shows.
“As the Committee on Cultural Affairs’ Chair, I condemn the bigoted remarks made by @vickiefornyc regarding [drag queen story hour], a cultural organization that serves our City’s youth,” tweeted NYC councilman Chi Ossé. “NYC is a safe haven where our queer community is welcomed and loved.”
State officials from Alaska to Michigan have come under fire for throwing their support behind drag-themed events for kids.
Read more: “‘A drag queen for every school’: Michigan AG reportedly dismisses concerns over kids, drag”
“Drag queens make everything better. Drag queens are fun,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel reportedly said while speaking out against what she described as efforts to divide people, reported Craig Mauger of The Detroit News. “A drag queen for every school,” Nessel added, according to Mauger.
The National Desk reached out to Mayor Adams’s office for comment, but did not hear back. If a statement is received, it will be added to this story.