A battle of petitions is underway to keep Drag Storytime events in Brisbane’s public libraries following a controversial protest.
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) is calling for the event to be banned.
But Richard Bakker, publisher of Australia’s leading LGTBIQ news magazine, QNews, wants the event to remain.
Battle of petitions began following protester suicide
Members of the UQ Liberal National Club recently disrupted a Drag Storytime event happening at a Brisbane City Council library.
They repeatedly chanted “Drag queens are not for kids” in the face of the performers.
When footage of the protest went viral, 21 year-old club president Wilson Gavin committed suicide.
The two petitions
Wendy Francis, Queensland Director of the ACL, is calling for a total ban of Drag Storytime events in her ePetition.
She says she is calling for the ban because, she claims:
- The practice is highly offensive to females, and
- The sexual nature of drag queen entertainment is inappropriate for children, and
- Telling our kids that trans is great is highly controversial.
In his opposing ePetition, Mr Bakker from QNews says:
- Brisbane City Council should continue to support Drag Storytime because it fosters values of inclusion, tolerance and diversity.
- The events are child-appropriate and are staged by trained performers who are Blue Card registered.
- Drag Storytime leads children to love reading and appreciate difference.
Many signatures from outside Brisbane
Destiny Rogers from QNews found a preponderance of ACL signatures come from outside Brisbane
“Exactly 60 per cent of the first 200 signatures came from places other than Brisbane,” Ms Rogers said.
“They have people signing from as far afield as Perth in Western Australia and Geilston Bay in Tasmania.”
Ms Rogers says when QNews launched its pro Drag Storytime ePetition, it specifically requested only Brisbane residents sign.
“At QNews, we believe signatures from people who actually live in Brisbane and use the libraries carry more weight,” she said.
“While we remain grateful to non-residents who care so deeply they signed anyway, we prefer signatures from people directly affected by the outcome.”
Lifeline – 13 11 14
Q Life – 1800 184 527
Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800