Books

Drag queen causes outrage at children’s story time

A Melbourne drag queen has come under fire for hosting a library story time session, with people labelling it “disgusting” and “repulsive”.

By Fiona Wright
A Melbourne drag queen has come under fire for hosting a library story time session, with people labelling it "disgusting" and "repulsive".
When Whittlesea Library announced on their Facebook page that they would be hosting a special Rainbow Storytime by Werribee drag queen Annie, they were forced to delete the post due to a barrage of hateful comments.
Scheduled to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT Day), the event is designed to celebrate diverse families, identity and embracing who you are, according to the library's website.
But instead, the event has caused the opposite reaction, with critics calling it "horrible" and "sick and twisted".
As well as nasty comments on the original post, there were over 700 homophobic and transphobic comments written on the 'Political Posting Mumma' Facebook page.
"This is absolutely abhorrent. Children do not need to be read to by guys dressed as strange women. Children need to be loved and protected. Shame on this library. Shame on our government for not cracking down and protecting our vulnerable children," posted one user.
"This is a disgrace. Our poor children," commented another.
Earlier this year, Annie hosted a successful Drag Queen Story Hour at Plaza Library. (Instagram: @annie_depressant)
Trolls have also chosen to directly attack Annie, whose "nightclub" persona is Annie Depressant - a character described as "a drunk" and a "whore".
However, Annie says Annie Depressant is not the character she performs during story time.
Annie as her "nightclub" persona Annie Depressant. (Image: Instagram: @annie_depressant)
"There's been a number of threats. I'm being accused of sexualising children… claims that I am a paedophile. These people don't know me – they've never heard of me before. I have a working with children check," Annie told the Star Observer.
"Part of me was bracing for negativity because it's just the nature of doing something like this, but I didn't expect the massive amount of negativity and backlash," Annie said.
"I would like to remind them that I am a person, everything they are saying is being said about a real person and there is nothing inherently inappropriate about being a drag queen."
Annie held a similar successful story time at Werribee Library earlier this year and hoped this next one would give the public "a chance to discover something they have never seen before".
Yarra Plenty Regional Library's public participation executive manager Lisa Dempster declined to comment on the library's original deleted post or confirm if the event would still go ahead when contacted by the Leader.
But Annie has confirmed the event is still happening and will be held from 11am to 12pm this coming Friday.