Drag queens have taken to Victorian parliament to read several children’s books for a story time event after Premier Daniel Andrews extended an invite to mark IDAHOBIT day.
The Victorian government has hosted a drag story time at state parliament to mark the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia amid the cancellation of several events at local libraries due to threats from protesters.
The Andrews government invited five drag queens caught up in the cancellations to speak at Spring Street to a slew of politicians, members of Victoria’s queer community and their children.
The event was held in defiance of the “small hateful minority” that had forced the hand of local councils in cancelling the various drag story times planned for IDAHOBIT, Minister for Equality Harriet Shing said.
“When the morning teas weren’t going ahead and the story times weren’t going ahead, I thought, well, let’s get five and see if we can’t make parliament more extravagantly sequined than it’s ever been,” she said.
“We will never, ever let a small, hate-filled rabble take away from our joy, our pride, our dignity and our wellbeing.”
The event was held in support of the various Melbourne councils which had to cancel their drag story times scheduled for today because of safety concerns.
Five Melbourne events in the last six months have been cancelled due to safety threats.
Monash Council was forced to abandon a drag queen story time at Oakleigh Library last Thursday due to threats of violence against families, the performers and library staff.
A planned sing along at Hawthorn Library was also cancelled, as was an event at Eltham Library in Melbourne’s north-east, hosted by Nillumbuk Council.
Eltham Library still attracted about 30 anti-drag demonstrators and 100 pro-LGBT supporters on Wednesday morning.
Drag queen Frock Hudson – who was scheduled to appear at Eltham Library – fought back tears when telling the Spring Street event about the barrage of abuse he and the council staff had received over the past few weeks.
“I just wish these people would come and experience the art form that we do, instead of harassing and bullying online and making up fake content because it’s gross,” said Hudson.
The Victorian government has also announced $1.8 million in funding for Rainbow Health Australia to deliver inclusion training to ensure organisations are safe for the LGBTIQ+ community.
The Victorian parliament and all 79 of the state’s local government areas raised the rainbow flag in celebration of LGBTQIA+ community to mark IDAHOBIT day this year, becoming the first jurisdiction in the world to do so.
LGBT advocates have urged the Victorian government to do more to protect the community, and councils across the state are due to hold an emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss the growing threats of violence against queer events.
Source – https://www.skynews.com.au/australia-news/politics/victorian-government-holds-drag-story-time-with-cancelled-performers-at-state-parliament-in-defiance-of-small-hateful-minority/news-story/cf2f5ceefcc13d90d309f7aa1799c25b