Thursday, 18 Apr 2024

Drag Queen will 'rise above' backlash to region's first ever themed Story Hour

A drag queen at the centre of a social media storm has vowed to rise above the abuse.

Yesterday, Moray Council revealed plans for the region’s first Drag Queen Story Hour.

Miss Lossie Mouth, who styles herself as the Camp Comedy Queen of the North, was announced to host.

Moray Council had excitedly posted: ‘Drag Queen Story Hour sashays into Elgin Library this weekend!

‘Running from 10am, Moray’s very own Miss Lossie Mouth, will lead a fun and interactive show suitable for children aged 0-6.’

Drag Queen Story Hours are held up and down the UK, and have previously fallen victim to protests by anti-LGBT groups.

Following the announcement of Miss Lossie Mouth’s event, a wave of abuse was soon directed at Moray Council and the drag queen.

Pride Month 2023

Pride Month is here, with members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies celebrating their identities, accomplishments, and reflecting on the struggle for equality throughout June.

This year, Metro.co.uk is exploring the theme of family, and what it means to the LGBTQ+ community.

Find our daily highlights below, and for our latest LGBTQ+coverage, visit our dedicated Pride page.

  • ‘We’re from countries where being gay is illegal – here’s why UK Pride is so important’
  • London headliner Adam Lambert insists this year’s Pride has ‘more important meaning’
  • As an actor, I felt uncomfortable playing male and female roles – until I came out as trans

Twitter users branded the event as ‘offensive’ while others added it was ‘unbelievable’ it had been organised in the first place.

For Miss Lossie Mouth, who has long since done events in the area without issue, she hopes to rise above the backlash.

The drag queen told Metro.co.uk : ‘I’m not wanting to add any fuel to any fire but the homophobia is rife and heartbreaking.

‘I’m an educator, activist and performer, Miss Lossie Mouth is all about acceptance and using your superhero powers to be your authentic self in the darkest of times. So my sparkly high heels and foam wig are on… for the moment!’

Miss Lossie Mouth, whose name is in reference to the Moray town of the same name, also told her fans she planned to ‘rise and sing as loud as we can’.

For LGBTQ+ people in the region, the backlash spurred from the event has been disheartening.

Guy Ingerson, co-covenor of Aberdeen Greens, described the reaction as ‘dangerous and disappointing.’

He told Metro.co.uk: ‘It is heartbreaking, as a gay man who grew up in Moray, to see the homophobic abuse both Miss Lossie Mouth and Moray Council are facing.

‘To see prominent politicians encouraging this abuse is even more disappointing, and dangerous.

‘Drag Queen Story Hour is comparable to the panto or a clown performance, both considered suitable for parents to take their kids to. The only reason this abuse is being hurled is because an LGBT+ person, and an important part of LGBT+ culture, is involved.

‘I hope local people show support and solidarity to both Miss Lossie Mouth and Moray Council.’

Douglas Ross, MSP for Moray and leader of the Scottish Conservatives, was among the politicians to fume against the Drag Queen Story Hour.

He tweeted: ‘It’s totally inappropriate to hold a show like this for kids under the age of six.

‘Story time for babies and young kids shouldn’t focus on gender or sexual identity.

‘That is common sense and on behalf of constituents who’ve contacted me, I’ve raised this with the council.’

The Scottish Greens Equalities spokesperson Maggie Chapman responded: ‘Douglas Ross is showing his true colours.

‘He’s cast himself as a pantomime villain with his preposterous and narrow minded attacks on a simple and innocent community event.

‘Why would anyone want to stop children from learning about the joys of reading and books? Or about the diversity of our families and communities?’

Ms Chapman added: ‘It seems that the only book he’s interested in is the far right playbook – that’s clearly where this latest outburst comes from.’

In response, Mr Ross told Metro.co.uk: ‘I make no apologies for standing up for issues of importance to the people I represent in Moray, many of whom share my concern that this show is inappropriate for babies and young children.

‘It is disappointing that the Greens have typically dismissed legitimate concerns out of hand.’

Stephen Kerr, MSP for Central Scotland, was among Mr Ross’s Conservative colleagues to agree with his view.

Meanwhile Drag Queen Story Hour UK, which has not planned this specific event so cannot comment specifically, has urged calm amid the online storm.

A spokesperson said: ‘Drag Queen Story Hour UK wants to take a moment to send our heartfelt best wishes to all LGBTQ+ events happening this Pride month.

‘As we gather in celebration, we also acknowledge the challenging political climate we currently face. It reminds us why Pride is not just a celebration, but also a protest and a call for justice and equality.’

When contacted today, Moray Council confirmed they no plans to cave to pressure following backlash to the Drag Queen Story Hour.

A spokesperson told Metro.co.uk: ‘We appreciate and accept that everyone has differing views on drag queens but believe our fun, lively and joyous celebration of reading and self-expression is a suitable way to encourage confidence in our young readers.

‘We look forward to singing and reading together while breaking down some of those myths about libraries – it certainly won’t be quiet!’

Elsewhere today, none other than Peppa Pig fell victim to homophobia today.

To acknowledge the celebrations, the official Peppa Pig Instagram account shared a post that said: ‘Happy Pride Month. Here’s to celebrating love.’

The post’s image featured the cartoon pig and her family and friends in front of a rainbow, including Penny Polar Bear, who was introduced to the show last year, and has two mothers.

While many people thanked the show for continuing to ‘celebrate LGBTQ+ families’, others decided to blast the post with harmful and damaging comments.

One wrote: ‘Keep pride for adults. Let children be children. It’s complicated for their brains to comprehend such abnormal behaviour.’

‘Not with Peppa,’ someone else said, also sharing a thumbs down emoji, which picked up over 100 likes.

Despite the negative comments, the overwhelming majority praised the show.

‘Thank you for supporting people being able to be who they are and to be loved for who they are,’ one person said.

‘Thank you so much for celebrating our type of family, it means so much to our children to see characters they enjoy celebrating Pride,’ someone else wrote.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

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