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First, the Associated Press wants to make one thing clear: Drag Time Story Hour is under attack. Sure, more and more chapters are popping up and more and more public schools are inviting drag queens into the classroom; as we reported, New York City Mayor Eric Adams this week sang the praises of “drag storytellers” and the libraries and schools that support them. Drag queens even have a repertoire of children’s books from which to choose, including “The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish.”

The attacks are everywhere. Some protesters are even praying:

Protesters pray outside a library in New York City as Flame, a drag queen sporting a bright wig and a red gown, entertains the children inside by singing the ABCs, leading a coloring activity and reading books about how it’s OK to be different.

Outside Chicago, protesters harass parents attending storytime with their children and proclaim that the staff operating the event came “from the devil.”

And in a San Francisco suburb, men invade Panda Dulce’s reading at a library’s Drag Queen Story Hour, shouting homophobic and transphobic slurs.

After focusing on transgender athletes and youths, anti-LGBTQ rhetoric is now targeting drag storytimes — conceived as a way to educate and entertain children by appealing to their imaginations — with interruptions and other protests reported across the country in the past two weeks, since Pride Month began.

Organizers of the story hours say that social media accounts are fueling the backlash and that opponents claiming they want to protect children are actually scaring and endangering them. The organizers said they will enhance security but won’t stop their programs.

“After focusing on transgender athletes and youths, anti-LGBTQ rhetoric is now targeting drag storytimes.” Is there something you wanted to say about biological men competing in girls’ sports, AP?

The “priority” doesn’t seem to be children’s literacy, but rather teaching kids to celebrate differences. Research shows that early grades are the best time to introduce gender fluidity before “cisnormative” values become ingrained in children and they think it’s “normal” for men to dress like men.

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