Drag queens to teach chil­dren aged 2 about ‘LGBT tol­er­ance’

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - News - By Char­lotte Wace and Stephen Adams

DRAG queens are be­ing brought into tax­payer-funded nurs­ery schools so that chil­dren as young as two can learn about trans­gen­der is­sues. The cross-dressers are read­ing nurs­ery rhymes and singing spe­cially adapted songs ‘to teach chil­dren about LGBT tol­er­ance’. Nurs­ery bosses in Eng­land say the ses­sions are needed so chil­dren can ‘see peo­ple who defy rigid gen­der re­stric­tions’ and grow up to com­bat hate crime. They 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’. The ‘per­for­mances’ are the brain­child of Thomas Can­ham, a Bris­tol Uni­ver­sity law grad­u­ate and part-time cross­dresser who dis­misses tra­di­tional no­tions of mas­culin­ity as ‘mean­ing­less’. But crit­ics last night said the ses­sions could ‘blind im­pres­sion­able chil­dren of two and three to one of the most ba­sic facts of hu­man ex­is­tence’. Top child psy­chother­a­pist Dilys Daws, co-au­thor of the book Find­ing Your Way With Your Baby, 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.’

Mr Can­ham’s or­gan­i­sa­tion Drag Queen Story Time (DQST) is holding ses­sions at seven nurs­eries run by the London Early Years Foun­da­tion over the win­ter. If deemed suc­cess­ful, they will be rolled out across all the nurs­ery’s 37 sites.

Mr Can­ham, 26, said he wanted to cre­ate a ‘safe space’ where adults or chil­dren would not be crit­i­cised for ‘wear­ing a dress’.

His drag queens had ‘com­plete con­trol’ over their per­for­mances, he added. ‘They can in­clude, for ex­am­ple, drag queen ref­er­ences within songs. So if you’re do­ing some­thing like Wheels On The Bus, you can sing, “The skirt on the drag queen goes swish, swish, swish”. The par­ents love it, and the chil­dren love it too.’


Donna La Mode, one of the draq queens

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