On Thursday NYC Mayor Eric Adams released a statement defending "Drag Queen Story Hour" and said "Drag storytellers, and the libraries and schools that support them, are advancing a love of diversity, personal expression, and literacy that is core to what our city embraces."
His statement was in response to Queens Republican Councilwoman Vickie Paladino who posted a thread on Twitter where she threatened to pull funding from any school that hosts men and women in drag reading to children and said "Progressives may have no problem with child grooming and sexualization, but I do."
As The Post Millennial reported, in New York City more than $200,000 of taxpayer funds have been given to drag queens to entertain children in public schools since 2018, with funds mostly going to the non-profit group Drag Story Hour NYC.
In May of this year, $46,000 alone went towards amplifying these readings that have the explicit mission statement to "teach kids about gender diversity and difference in all of its wonderful forms, building empathy, and giving kids the confidence to express themselves."
Councilwoman Paladino called the story hours "degeneracy" in a criticism that reflects what many parents have said: that the events seem less about learning and more about justifying drag culture and gender ideology to children. Parents worry these story hours aren't helping children so much as validating the lifestyles of the adults dressed in garish and sexualized attire.
The New York Post reports that many NYC Democratic lawmakers have, by rote, come out to protest Paladino's rebuke of child sexualization and grooming.
The City Council’s LGBTQIA+ Caucus asked for Paladino to be censured, removed from her committee assignments, and its co-chairs Crystal Hudson and Tiffany Caban said, "This is not an issue of ideological differences, but a question of our collective belief in all New Yorkers’ right to an existence free from discrimination.”
Similar sentiments were echoed by Brooklyn Councilmember Chi Osse and other drag story time sympathizers, with many using Pride Month as an umbrella defense.
On Twitter Paladino's took on each criticism with relish, such as when she said to Osse "Your followers have called me everything from a bigot to a neonazi. Get over it, you’re not a victim and 'the month of Pride' isn’t some high holy day. We all have to deal with harsh criticism."
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