New York Attorney General Hosts Drag Queen Story Hour with Drag Group Receiving City Contracts

The attorney general of New York State hosted a drag queen story hour event for young children in New York City to protest a perceived “rise in anti-LGBTQ+ protests, rhetoric, and policies.”

In a press statement following the event Sunday, James’ office said “nearly 200 guests enjoyed four back-to-back Story Hours hosted by the Drag Kings, Queens, and Royalty of Drag Story Hour NYC at The Center, which has been a home and resource hub for the LGBTQ+ community and allies since its founding in 1983.”

James’ drag queen event was co-sponsored by Drag Story Hour NYC (DSH NYC) a “nonprofit” organization that, according to The New York Post, “has received more than $200,000 in city contracts since 2018, according to records — prompting outcry from critics of the kiddie sessions.”

The Post noted in June 2022, the well-funded group “sends drag queens into city schools – often without parental knowledge or consent – even as parents in other states protest increasingly aggressive efforts to expose kids to gender-bending performers.”

According to its website, Drag Story Hour NYC states its programs “celebrate gender diversity and all forms of difference to build empathy and give kids the confidence to express themselves however they feel comfortable.”

The organization touts:

Our programs take place at libraries, schools, museums, festivals, parks, block parties, bookstores, play spaces, workplaces, and cultural and community institutions around the city, and also virtually. In 2021 we produced 67 in-person programs and 141 virtual programs, serving 863 children in person and thousands more virtually. The vast majority of our programs are free to attend.

DSH NYC programs “are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature,” the organization boasts. “Our programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.”

James said in a statement following the event:

The recent rise in anti-LGBTQ+ protests, rhetoric, and policies has left New Yorkers — myself included — devastated and disappointed. But I know better than anyone that when the choice is between love and hate, between joy and venom, New Yorkers will always choose love, and New Yorkers will always choose joy. I am proud to have been joined by my colleagues in advocacy and government today in celebration of the love, joy, and family fun that Drag Story Hour brings to our communities. Hate has no home in New York, and I will always fight to ensure our LGBTQ+ siblings’ rights are upheld and defended.

The Post reported Sunday that over 100 protesters demonstrated outside James’ “Drag Story Hour,” both LGBTQ activists and those condemning the exposure of young children to the gender-twisting performers.

Police and City Council security guards were called upon to provide protection for city officials who attended the event.

“The council security team goes to all these events where the council members go and there’s a chance of someone being hurt,” Councilman Erik Bottcher (D-Manhattan) told The Post.

Bottcher appeared unconcerned about the views of parents and others that hold the drag queen events are confusing to young children and serve to indoctrinate them in gender ideology.

“Guess what? It was like any other story hour,” he said. “It just happened to be read by a colorful character in a costume.”

“And the idea that this is going to make kids want to grow up to be drag queens is ludicrous,” he reportedly added.

An Eventbrite notice of the event read, “Join Attorney General Letitia James, Drag Storytellers, and city and state elected leaders for a Drag Story Hour Read-A-Thon.”

“Families with children are welcome!” the announcement continued. “The event consists of four drag story hours. You are welcome to attend one story hour or multiple. Doors will open at 10:30 am for the first story hour. Food and beverage will be available. Each event will include story time, arts and crafts, and other fun activities.”

“*This event is best suited for children up to age 12, *” the notice said.

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Susan Berry, PhD is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Drag Story Hour” by NY AG James.


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