Residents of a town in Wales have attempted to block a planned Drag Queen Story Hour performance, while accusing the performer of being “predatory.”
Drag artist and founder of Drag Queen Story Hour UK, Aida H Dee, has become the subject of yet another storm of online hate after town councillors for Brecon – a market town in Powys, mid-Wales – announced she would be performing there.
A statement on the council’s official Facebook page on last week informed residents that Dee is set to join Brecon Pride on 2 September, with a family friend drag event where she will read to children.
A petition was filed the following day on campaign site Change.org, which made several unfounded accusations against Dee, while echoing the homophobic “groomer” conspiracy theory that is increasingly used against the LGBTQ+ community.
“We feel it’s highly inappropriate and actually negligent of Brecon Town Council to go ahead with hiring this performer,” the person who started the petition wrote.
The petition, which has since been removed by Change.org officials, collected 1,143 signatures before its deletion.
But, considering the town is believed to have a population of little more than 8,200, activists questioned whether the signatures were even legitimate to begin with.
The organisation’s community guidelines state that petitions should not include content “that directly or indirectly attacks an entire class of people because of a characteristic they share,” which includes identity characteristics such as gender identity, sexuality and sex.
It also states that the organisation reserves the right to “remove content which is verifiably incorrect and which has the potential to cause harm to others”.
‘If these numbers were any fishier, we’d need a bigger boat’
Speaking to PinkNews, Dee said: “Let me get this straight. There’s a lone Facebook post urging people to sign a petition, but it has fewer than 20 supporters and has zero traction anywhere else. But, astonishingly, this petition has garnered over 1,000 so-called legitimate signatures in a few weeks.
“This is an attempt to prevent an award-winning, highly acclaimed performer and author, known for five-star Edinburgh Fringe shows, presenting a storytelling show at a small local Pride event in Wales.
“If these numbers were any fishier, we’d need a bigger boat.”
Despite the perceived outcry, other Brecon residents who have voiced their love and support for the Drag Queen Story Hour, and congratulated the council for “fully embracing Pride.”
One social media user wrote: “For the haters, drag queens have been entertaining kids for decades with no one losing their minds.”
Dee told PinkNews that they have reported the petition to Change.org for alleged falsified information and defamation against them.
In a statement to PinkNews, a Change.org spokesperson said: “The first time we received a flag on this petition was this morning – it was published over the weekend and we didn’t receive a flag until today.
“It’s no longer on the platform.”