A “Drag Queen Story Hour” in Leeds, United Kingdom was shut down after a concerted effort by conservative mother’s group “Mumsnet” and various anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ groups to block Leeds City Council from hosting the event.
Aida H. Dee, who was set to host the event, received hate speech and death threats via the campaign.
The group Drag Queen Story Hour UK has an Instagram page where they promote the events.
The group also created a video to show people what the program was about.
Leeds City Council, beleaguered by the requests, gave in to the great disappointment of Dee, known out of drag as Sab Samuel.
“Leeds City Council have actually put out this message of anti-gay and transphobic rhetoric.”
“I feel I feel so upset for anybody who is LGBT+ in Leeds… this is such a kick in the face, to be honest.”
Absolutely disgusting!!! @MumsnetTowers this is appalling behaviour ! Drag queen hour in Leeds cancelled – this forum is inciting hatred towards members of our community! We are not paedophiles! How dare you mock my disabled family members too! https://t.co/6gFNOqt3c8
— Paul D – Mr Gay Wales (@paul_stumpy) June 21, 2020
Leeds city council are trying to cancel Drag Queen Story Hour UK after people are deeming it “womanface” and “pedophillic”. Aida livestreams every day and reads books to children, it’s not unsupervised, it’s not adult material https://t.co/sTVvr5066P
— jj (@jj_liaison) June 21, 2020
This woman took it upon herself to harass Children and Families attending Drag Queen Story Hour at Leeds Library UK eventually canceling the event : People like her are dangerous & should be watched by local authorities @claireOT https://t.co/v3ht30MX7D
— Jolene Sugarbaker 🏳️🌈🌊 (@JolenesTrailer) June 22, 2020
Friends of mine in Leeds have told me that their local library shut down drag queen story time because bigots kicked up a fuss about a man dressed as a woman reading stories to kids.
Are they cancelling panto & Mr Tumble too?
— Cllr Daniel Cowan (@CllrCowan) June 22, 2020
— Zack Playford (@ZPlayford) June 23, 2020
Samuel’s real concern lies with the children who “hear that [Drag Queen Story Hour] gets cancelled because there are haters out there” becoming afraid to express themselves in the world.
“To imagine that there’s going to be a kid in Leeds who was excited because there could be some sort of potential new role model to them. Somebody that they can actually relate to, to be told that they think they’re not allowed because it’s…”
Let's be honest, to be anti-drag because it's not correct for kids to see adults dress up is an unrealistic expectation of being a dad/mum. Expect to dress up as a parent because guess what, kids love it. <3
— Aida H Dee Drag ADHD (@AidaHDeeDrag) June 22, 2020
This is so upsetting to hear, that these attitudes still exist and are actioned upon by those in power nonetheless.
Catch them streaming on Facebook 14:00-14:45! ❤️ https://t.co/hF08p9XYvP
— Wigan Pride (@WiganPrideLGBT) June 23, 2020
— Vicente (@vicentemtzjr) June 22, 2020
Mumsnet is a terrorist organisation.
— first gay caveman (@firstgaycaveman) June 23, 2020
— james kirkby (@noizekommando) June 23, 2020
The cancellation was purportedly set in motion by an anti-trans city councillor, who commented on the official Facebook event with:
“I’ve just seen this and shall be asking for a full and frank explanation from the chief executive for this utterly unacceptable misogyny.”
In addition to disturbing anti-trans social media posts.
— Claire’s Outrageous Thoughts (@claireOT) June 21, 2020
Mumsnet then threatened to “crucify” Samuel, calling him a “pervert” among other LGBTQ+ slurs.
Though Samuel was “kinda scared,” he has dedicated his time instead to raising money for Mermaids, a trans youth charity, in hopes to repair some of the damage caused by Mumsnet on the youth LGBTQ+ community in Leeds.