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Aida H Dee's Drag Queen Story Hour UK targeted by protesters

"Don't let the stupid protestors stop you from attending," Sebastian Samuel said after being led to safety

2022-07-27

Words: Emily Maskell; pictures: Twitter/@AidaHDeeDrag

A kid’s story hour hosted by a drag queen was targeted by protesters leading to police having to escort the queen to safety. 

Sebastian Samuel was reading to a class as drag queen Aida H Dee when two protesters entered the Drag Queen Story Hour UK while dozens chanted outside on Monday (25 July).

The two intruders were escorted away by police but no arrests were made.

The demonstrators were claiming that they were 'protecting children’ from the session which they deemed to be inappropriate as drag queens are highly sexualised and not appropriate for school-age children.

After the event and protest, Samuel took to Twitter to address the event, thanking people for their support.

“The start of my UK Tour has been interesting, to say the least. I feel so loved by how many residents of Reading have reached out to stay that they either loved my show, or that they wished they came,” he wrote.

He continued: "However please don't let the stupid protestors stop you from attending the rest of the events across the country.”

“I promise you that we are more than prepared for these stupid people, and I can assure you my stories will be just as fabulous.”

They went on to say to the BBC: "What is confusing is that these groups are attempting to create a sexual focus here where none exists by drawing attention to sex and sexuality.”

"What is confusing is that these groups are attempting to create a sexual focus here where none exists by drawing attention to sex and sexuality," he said.

Following the incident, Reading Borough Council told the BBC that it was "extremely disappointed” by the protesters and their reaction to the event, noting the parents of the children attending were aware of the session’s content and nature.

"Reading is a diverse community and our library service seeks to reflect and celebrate that by hosting and supporting a wide range of artists and audience experiences," the Borough Council added.

Samuel has previously told the BBC that he wishes to be an LGBTQ+ role model to tackle taboo.

"Role models are like oxygen, if you don't have them you can't breathe and for LGBTQ+ people, we've been dying," he said.

This targeted protest, however, will not stop Aida H Dee; they’re touring through this summer nationally - find out more here.

The Attitude July/August issue is out now.