The public library in Taunton, Somerset, has been criticised over a forthcoming Drag Queen Story Hour for children.
Taunton Library came under fire after it invited drag queen Alyssa Van Delle to read storybooks to children as part of LGBTQ+ History Month.
An advertisement for the free event on the Somerset Libraries website said: 'Drag Queen Story Time are proud to be working in partnership with Somerset Libraries as part of their LGBTQ+ History Month celebration.
'Alyssa Van Delle will be joining the library team to dazzle and shine with her Sicilian charm, and to celebrate all things LGBTQ.'
At the event on 2 February, Van Delle will be reading 'The Flower Girl Wore Celery', about a flower girl at a lesbian wedding, 'And Tango Makes Three', in which two male penguins become fathers to a baby penguin, and 'Princess Smartypants Breaks the Rules', which tells the story of a princess who makes her own rules at school.
For our LGBTQ History Month event in Taunton we will be reading:
- The Flower Girl Wore Celery
- And Tango Makes Three
- Princess Smartypants Breaks The Rules
Some of our favourite books
Some people defended the event on social media, saying that drag was an 'art form' and that the story hour was no different from taking children to see panto in which men traditionally dress up to play female roles.
But others complained that it was inappropriate for children.
'Men dressed as women reading stories is not the problem at all,' wrote one Twitter user.
'The problem is it's an exaggerated hyper-sexualised caricature. I worked with children for years, no way on earth could I have dressed provocatively at work (for many very good reasons!) Drag is adult entertainment.'
Another said: 'This is imposing adult issues on children. Panto men dressed as women is for humor, nothing more, it's not a "life style" choice.'
Despite the controversy, the event is going ahead as planned and the organisers have announced that a second drag queen, Kurt Sovain, has been added to the line-up.
'Due to continued interest in the show, and the number of people expected to attend - we've decided to increase the number of performers on the day!' they said.
Parents have complained after Taunton library invited a drag queen to read stories to their children for LGBTQ history month. If your child wants to listen to a story do you care who reads it?@cristo_radio | https://t.co/sv3MZUm41c pic.twitter.com/3iOqLxzatW— talkRADIO (@talkRADIO) January 4, 2019