A drag story hour event in the UK has been cancelled following attacks and threats of violence by conservative and anti-trans groups.
Aida H Dee, the alter ego of performer Sab Samuel, had planned to read to children in an online event hosted by Leeds Libraries.
Right-wing protests against the event have involved Aida being doxxed (her personal details leaked) and threatened with violence, Pink News has reported.
Members of parenting forum Mumsnet, which has been described as a “toxic hotbed of transphobia”, and numerous anti-trans networks, inundated Leeds City Council with demands to shut down the online story hour.
Drag story events have increased in popularity around the world in recent years, helping to teach young people to value diversity as well as instil a love of reading, but have also been subject to homophobic and transphobic attacks because of their drag hosts.
Critics frequently claim that drag queens “sexualise children” by their mere presence, and much seemingly confused criticism also centres on fears of the (usually cis) performers somehow turning children trans.
Aida said the graphic threats against her from transphobic “gender critical” groups have led her to seek police protection.
She said she had been deeply upset by the turn of events and was concerned about the message it sent to LGBTIQ children.
“This is the first time a Drag Queen Story Hour event has been cancelled due to the rhetoric of anti-trans groups,” said Aida.
“This has caused a lot of stress.
“I can’t imagine… being one of those kids, who is probably not within gender norms, to hear that it gets cancelled because there are haters out there, that would make the world seem so scary.”
Mumsnet users have abused Aida on social media, calling her a “woman-mocking pervert” and calling for her to be “crucified”.
Undeterred, however, Aida took the story event to Facebook and is now raising funds to support UK trans youth charity Mermaids.
Earlier this year in Australia, a series of drag story hours were targeted by conservative critics.
A group of protesters found themselves locked out of a Melbourne event after a police tip-off that they planned to harass performers and families.