Tate criticised for Drag Queen Story Hour children’s readings
Several groups claim the gallery is targeting kids with gender propaganda
This year, someone at Tate looked at the gallery’s half-term programme and decided what was missing was a man wearing plastic tits and a wig reading stories to kids. And lo it came to pass that controversial drag act Seb Samuel, who performs under the name Aida H Dee in children’s libraries, was invited to read his self-published books at Britain’s largest public art gallery for ‘reading sessions‘. The organisation’s website beamed with pride about hosting Samuel, who was billed as an “ADHD, neurodivergent, queer hero of literature, theatre and children’s entertainment”.
But joy at the visitation of the drag queen is not universal. This week, three groups, Artists Against Propaganda (AXP), Transgender Trend (TT) and Safe Schools Alliance (SSA), teamed-up to launch a petition calling on the gallery to “stop targeting kids with gender propaganda”. The organisations listed social media posts by Samuel which they referred to as “safeguarding red flags” — including jokes about anal sex at orgies — arguing that had a teacher made similar comments online, they would be sacked. As an aside, an earlier petition launched on change.org was removed without warning; presumably child safeguarding is considered unsafe to the sensibilities of gender ideologues.
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The groups also criticised Tate for publishing “I WANT TO SHOW YOU A BODY” — a guide for schools produced in partnership with the transgender lobby group, Gendered Intelligence. It would seem the gallery now considers promoting gender ideology as within its remit. The document is extraordinary; the lovechild of Butlerian queer theory and pretentious art wank presented as fact, with a side-helping of emotional blackmail.
It offers a list of dos and don’ts to help teachers on their journey to trans-allyship. “Don’t tell people they’re in the wrong toilets or changing rooms, they probably know more about their own gender than you do”; “Talk to your school about gender-neutral toilets”; “Assert that transgender women are women”; “Assert that non-binary people exist.”
But there are also more worrying claims made, such as there “is an extremely high rate of suicide amongst transgender children in schools” which can be “negated” by telling children that they are the opposite sex. Current NHS guidelines for supporting youngsters confused about their gender identity do not support blind affirmation of cross-sex identities. It’s dangerously misleading.
“Artists like us are silenced, deplatformed and cancelled for expressing the ‘wrong views’ on gender,” one member of AXP explained. “But to see Tate target children with those same unfounded ideas about gender takes this problem to another level.”
Tate proudly proclaims on its website that its aim is to become “a truly inclusive organisation with a workforce and audience as diverse as the communities we serve.” But staking their rainbow flag firmly on one side of the culture war means that they will never be inclusive, nor indeed relevant, to the majority of the public whose taxes fund the gallery’s continued existence. As the groups who wrote the petition conclude:
Update: Tate responded after publication of this story with the following statement:
“We do not programme artists in order to promote particular points of view, nor to reconcile differing points of view. Our galleries offer a broad programme and visitors have the freedom to choose which aspects of it they engage with.”
Thank you for this JB, I like your directness. We need to confront this ideology head-on.
What is so disturbing about the picture is the lack of masks – will no one think of the children?
As an addendum to this story, the Free Speech Union is submitting examples of tech companies withdrawing their services as a means of censoring free speech for a government consultation this month on the Financial Services and Markets Bill.https://freespeechunion.org/
They’d like people to submit any more examples that they’re aware of for this consultation, to [email protected]
There are lots of examples in addition to that given in the article above about the petition on change.org :
“we are your public and we are here to tell you that inclusive means everybody. That includes the very many people in this country who don’t agree that gender ideology is the law and who don’t agree that children should be exposed to its thinking uncritically…you need to remember your duty to the safe-guarding of children”. Well done, Artists against Propaganda. And there are plenty of other institutions and organisations that should pay attention to this message.
Someone needs to ask these freaks exactly why its important that they cross dress in sexualised garb whilst reading to kids.
Also, given the no doubt near uniform public opposition to this stuff, its impossible not to regard those media oulets not reporting on it as complicit in it.
These people must be stopped.
The silence of mainstream media on any protest that doesn’t accord with “progressive” values is deafening. The Isabel Vaughan Spruce story is another case in point.
“These people must be stopped.”
*These perverts must be stopped.
WTF does “ADHD, neurodivergent, queer hero of literature, theatre and children’s entertainment” mean?
it means sexualizing children. It was called child abuse till woke…
It’s a pedophilic grooming ritual intended to disrupt heterosexual identity formation and maximize the number of tweens and young adults open to gay sexual experiences. It says so in its own queer theory monographs, books and agit prop documents.
Any institution or individual who accepts these performances under the ideal of toleration and acceptance is a dupe.
If Rishi Sunak is looking for Clear Blue Water positions to distinguish his party from the opposition, he could do worse than doing something to block this. Maybe sack the Director of the Tate or withdraw promised funding or something.
Rishi is cheerleading all of this stuff. He is as woke as the Tate people and will just go along with all of this applied critical theory until it all collapses under the weight of its own absurdities. In theory, I should be allowed to identify as a black woman, nevermind just as a woman, if I take all this stuff to its logical conclusion. Happily, empiricists, if they were alive today would see all of these statements as untestable in the real world and therefore without meaning. I’m self-identifying as an empiricist!
The absurdity of this trend is literally going to have historians of the future shaking their heads in astonishment that there were actually parents and organizations in this misbegotten era who not only allowed but actively encouraged exposing their children to such toxic horrors. Adults engaging in drag have every right to do as they please, away from children.
I also look forward to the realization of just how preposterous it is to use descriptions of a human being such as “ADHD, neurodivergent, queer hero of literature, theatre and children’s entertainment”, to cultivate an environment of inclusivity. Sounds rather exclusive to me.
Sincerely, Warren Trees (White, male, Christian, 55+, employed, heterosexual, married, suburban, conservative, handyman, cocktailer, cooking enthusiast, Unherd subscribing, red wine loving traveler.)
Based (and elegant!)
This does beg the question of who the utter wombats who think it’s fine for their kids to attend this are. They actually think this is ok for their kids.
Exactly the case. Without these chowderheads there would no issue, because normal parents would be swarming libraries and schools that tried it with pitchforks, torches, and barrel staves.
While, at the same time, Tate censor works of art that they themselves commissioned.
A witty and well-written expose of the dangerous ideology of the far-left activists masquerading as art custodians. I’m also heartened to read of Artists Against Propaganda (AXP), Transgender Trend (TT) and Safe Schools Alliance (SSA) pushing back. It’s takes real moral courage to stand up to this ideology and I applaud all three orgs for being on the right side of history!
If the goal of these men is to increase tolerance and understanding of their way of life they are failing rather spectacularly.
I had to read on for a bit to realise that this wasn’t yet another opinion piece about Andrew Tate.
Me too. I was quite disappointed.
Yes Andrew Tate only needs to claim that his oeuvre is a piece of performance art constituting an ironic subversion of conventional bourgeois morality and the Tate would be salivating to have him exhibited.
When we say the ‘Tate’, what do we mean?
Who are the people that run the Tate? Have them named in public and get them to explain themselves .
This ‘drag’ business is a gift for paedophiles, sorry, I mean minor-attracted nice men….!
I went to a DQ story event at a local museum, my take on it was that you have a group of people monetizing what they do to a new audience, it’s opportunistic. I reckon there is lots of cash floating around for the correctly worded , diversity box ticking grant applications . Previously drag queens would have had limited ways of earning by doing turns in clubs, DQST has massively expanded their earning opportunities. Mostly I think that is what is going on but sadly it opens doors for unintended consequences of child grooming, and exposure to dangerous ideology and inappropriate material.
This is a good point–the financial gain aspect is often overlooked, but “follow the money” is an axiom that applies to almost every situation.
An interesting take on it. Presumably we’ll get pole dance stripper story time in due course.
Furthermore, when protesters caused one event by said Ada in Bristol to be cancelled Ada didn’t lose any ££££!
“pretentious art w**k presented as fact”.
Bravo. This is Phrase of the Day. Possibly even of the Week.
Isn’t this just Panto’? I loved them when I was a kid and my Gran always took us to a couple before Xmas. We booed, hissed and screamed along with everyone there. Do these young children really care/ think about the politics?
Aristotle — ‘Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man.’ Think about it…..
Isn’t this just Panto?
In pantomime, dames are there to be laughed at – the unworldliness of a man in a dress pretending to be a woman sets the jokes that follow – it is supposed to look stupid and funny to children.
For Drag Queens the dress up isn’t about making yourself an object of ridicule but is about sex – and very adult-level sex at that – kinks, fetishes, role play. If a drag queen is OK, then so is someone in leathers and bondage gear, or BSDM slaves. We try to protect children from inappropriate sexual messaging, particularly because of the power disparities that can leave children in vulnerable situations.
On the face of it I don’t have a problem with drag queen’s reading age appropriate stories to kids. I think the pushing of extreme gender ideologies have lead to a reaction on the right – and it’s drag queens that will get it in the neck- just another dark avenue of the culture war.
Sincere or satire? I really can’t tell.
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