Drag Queen’s Fairy Tale Reading For Children Sparks Protests
The event was part of the Brno Pride Week festival for the queer community, and was aimed at introducing parents and children to diversity as an accepted part of today’s society. Photo credit: Oliver Stasa / TIC Brno.
Brno, June 7 (CTK) – About 20 people protested yesterday morning in front of Kino Art against the reading of a fairy tale book to children by drag queen Ivory Divine, an event held as part of Brno’s Pride Week program.
The event was part of the Brno Pride Week festival for the queer community, and was aimed at introducing parents and children to diversity as an accepted part of today’s society. The event has been dogged by controversy in recent days and the organisers have also faced threats. The event therefore went ahead with capacity limited to 50 people, and only accredited visitors were allowed in.
The term drag queen refers to a man who uses exaggerated make-up and clothing to style himself as a woman. This form of entertainment has a long and rich history in most cultures around the world, but has recently become a target for online far-right and Christian conservative groups, who claim that such events as took place yesterday are “brainwashing children”, or even promoting paedophilia.
About 20 opponents of the event arrived outside the cinema shouting “Shame!” and “Yuck!”
“Our main motivation was the safety of the children, because the last few days have been very unpleasant,” said Michaela Chylova, the festival director. “We even considered calling off the whole event. But we are very glad we didn’t and that today’s event was a success. The children were happy and everything went as it should.”
The protesters outside the cinema said they perceive artists performing as drag queens as homosexuals who may abuse children. They also objected to the festival being supported by the South Moravian Region. However, the organisers said they did not use any subsidy support specifically for today’s reading.
The event was held in cooperation with the Jiri Mahen Library in Brno. “We have been cooperating with Queer Code Brno since last year, and thanks to that we have already held several lectures on LGBTQ+ issues for teenagers,” said Iveta Cehelska, head of the library’s children and youth department. “This cooperation is linked to the ‘Rainbow Point,’ which is a place where young people can come to confide their problems to us. It has always been our priority to make everyone feel welcome.”
The Brno Pride Week festival comprises more than 40 cultural and social events, from film screenings and theatre performances to barbecue gatherings. The festival is being held for the third time, and for the first time in a larger format thanks to a subsidy from the region.