Bristol’s Drag Queen Story Time has continued to make waves. The Daily Mail and The Sun both denigrated it in recent articles, leading one of the founding members, Donna La Mode, to announce she’s “unable to continue”.
Meanwhile, a BBC Three documentary celebrated the groundbreaking Bristol-based project in its Amazing Humans series.
The Mail story said that “critics say sessions could confuse children on basics of human existence” and that DQST “want to target two and three-year-olds to influence them early, as they say at this age children have not yet developed any discriminatory ‘isms'”.
After being featured on the front cover of the The Sun, DQST founding member Donna La Mode said: “I have brushed myself off, and will come back from this bigger, better and more fabulous than ever. I’m sure Drag Queen Story Time will continue going from strength to strength, but I’m unfortunately due to this terrible occurrence, I find myself unable to continue with the project.”
On a happier note, he BBC’s video entitled, The drag queen storyteller showing children it’s OK to be different, is the latest to celebrate the ground-breaking project.
In the video, local drag queen Lady Windsor Rose explains the importance of a project that takes drag queens into libraries and nurseries in Bristol to read stories to children.
After an incredible debut at Bristol Pride’s family area this year, DQST has had a series of packed bookings at the Watershed, as well as branching out to nurseries in Bristol, Manchester and London.
“Doing the interview was a wonderful experience,” explained Lady Windsor Rose. “The BBC were wonderful to work alongside. They really seemed to understand why Drag Queen Story Time was important. I got so emotional talking about bullying in schools and the sheer amount of LGBTQ+ children who self-harm and attempt suicide. I love being part of DQST and loved the opportunity to show people why we do what we do.”
Organiser Tom Canham said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by both the interest we’ve received in the project, and the support from Bristol parents. The level of involvement we’ve received from local venues, parents and even the local council, is a credit to the forward thinking and accepting nature of Bristol as a city.
“Providing a space where children can present as they wish, without feeling judged, and ask questions about things which are conventionally considered controversial subjects. Little boys arriving at shows in Princess dresses, and Dads wearing Drag Queen wigs, has been one of the most rewarding sights.
“Thanks to the success we’ve had in Bristol, DQST has managed to expand its services to the London, Cardiff and Manchester areas with great success, reaching out to a larger audience than we ever would have dreamed possible.”
Read more: It’s drag queen story time