The Toronto Public Library's drag queen storytime is angering Christians on the influential pro-life website LifeSiteNews.
The program brings drag queens to libraries across Toronto to read to children, and foster acceptance and diversity. Afterwards, the kids and queens dance and sing together, according to the Globe and Mail.
Pride doesn't end with Pride Month, this summer join us for Drag Queen Storytimes across the city. Celebrate literacy and diversity with books, songs, and lots of laughs! https://t.co/rpuD5P231Opic.twitter.com/tkQ8rxjj7m— Toronto Public Library (@torontolibrary) July 9, 2018
LifeSiteNews blogger and communications director for the pro-life Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform Jonathon Van Maren isn't happy about that.
"Drag queens at public libraries: the new strategy to indoctrinate kids and sideline Christians," reads the title of a blog by Van Maren.
Similar programs in many cities
Van Maren also calls out similar programs in other Canadian and American cities, declaring that libraries are no longer safe.
"LGBT activists are determined to teach their ideology to children, and have focused their efforts on infiltrating the public school system, influencing the sex education curriculum, and ensuring that the concepts such as gender fluidity are taught from the earliest possible age."
He wraps up with: "Drag queens and children's stories about transgenderism are in—and so, again, at yet another venue—Christian parents must be out."
His viewpoint is not isolated.
"They are trying to break down children's natural (God given) repulsion of unnatural acts. This is the very definition of grooming," one person commented.
I am consistently in awe of how respectful, thoughtful and interested these kids are in learning about gender expression, and acceptance.Dani Stover
This type of backlash is fairly common for organizers of such storytime programs to hear.
"Unfortunately, this type of reaction doesn't surprise me, however, it is completely overshadowed by the amount of love, and respect that these programs receive, not only in Toronto, but all over the world," EastToronto Drag Queen Storytime co-founder Dani Stover told BlogTO.
"I am consistently in awe of how respectful, thoughtful and interested these kids are in learning about gender expression, and acceptance."
@torontolibrary Drag Queen Storytime w @atmos_fierce - Thank you for sharing your talents with us and teaching children about diversity and acceptance. @blogTO@TorontoLGBTLove@PrideToronto#toronto#LGBTproud#dragqueens#storytime#rainbow#torontolifepic.twitter.com/I5BSbzSVEV— Terry Lim (@terrbearlim) July 21, 2018
"We chose to go because it was clearly entertaining for kids," said Ian Wineberg, who attended Fay And Fluffy's Storytime, a different drag queen kids' event in Toronto whose hosts have also led Toronto Public Library readings.
Wineberg went to the reading with his five-year-old son, and two other families with straight parents.
"The kids loved it. Danced, laughed, smiled and ... had a riot," he recalled.
"Don't like it? Don't go. Intolerance is taught the same way that tolerance is. Kids are inert and couldn't care less about these things."
The drag queen storytimes have proven to be very popular with full houses at different branches of the Toronto Public Library, according to the Globe and Mail.
"When I was young, this wasn't as cool; it wasn't as accepted and I didn't have these role models," Erin Brockobić, one of the storytime drag queens told the newspaper. "So in a way, I get to be the role model that I never got."
Drag Queen Storytime is aimed at pre-school and school-aged children. Everyone is welcome, and no registration is needed, the Toronto library website states.