More Than 200K In State Funds Spent On Drag Queen Events In NYC Schools

Drag Queen events bringing story hours to NYC public schools has come under fire, as the city is funneling taxpayer dollars to the program.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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drag queen events

“Drag queen” and “public schools” are two groupings of words no one a decade ago likely would think would have gone together so synonymously. But this year, they sure have – whether people want them to or not. In an effort to bring awareness to more aspects of the LGTBQ+ community, drag queen events have been popping up all across the nation, taking aim at inclusivity for younger children. One Drag Queen event, known as Drag Queen Story Hour has made waves in New York City in recent months. Now, its further ruffling feathers as media outlets have disclosed the hefty taxpayer price tag associated with these made-for-school presentations.

Somewhat of a literacy program, the organization running Drag Queen Story Hour has grown over the last decade and entails drag queen events inside schools with a goal to do just as the name sounds: bring Drag Queens in to read stories to young children. A few weeks ago, it was divulged that in NYC, taxpayer dollars were funding these drag queen events at public schools, but it was unknown how much, exactly, the city was funneling to the program. However, the Washington Examiner recently reported that more than $207,000 in state funds have been allocated to the program.

Additionally, the site reported that 49 different drag programs are operating similar drag queen events within 34 various public city schools in the Big Apple with these funds. One New York State Assembly candidate, Helen Qiu, spoke of her outrage and finding out about this funding. Given that Qiu is also a mother to an 11-year-old, she expressed infuriation that young children are being exposed to such controversial content, which she also says is without parental consent. 

So where exactly do these hefty taxpayer funds come from? Some of that is being directed from New York State’s Council on the Arts, which sends $50,000 in state funds to the drag queen event story hour. The other $157,000 is said to come from a combination of the city’s department of education, cultural affairs, Youth and Community Development, and the Department of Transportation. 

As opposers are largely outraged with City Council members for allowing this money to be given to drag queen events, some are considering pulling their support or fighting to end funding to the organization. Republican City Council member Vickie Paladino signaled this, saying “Not no my watch,” when she was made aware of what this money was funding. But other members have shown support for the program, alleging it to be a harmless program drawing longstanding negative stigma away from the drag community. 

drag queen events

There are plenty of varying opinions about content and the nature of implementing drag queen events into public schools. To supporters, the pushback seems to be just another way for parents and politicians against LGBTQ+ rights to further their agenda to rid schools of anything they deem unfit. But for many parents, the bigger issue tends to be the apparent ploy to normalize being something different, which many feel will only confuse young minds. And as the Feds and states continue to bring the fight into politics, there is no end in sight, but Drag Queen Story Hour just might see its last day in operation for public schools next year, if some have their way.