Oklahoma State Hosts 'Drag Queen Story Hour' for Little Kids Ages 2-10 During University's 'Pride Week'
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Oklahoma State University hosted a "Drag Queen Story Hour" geared toward little children as young as two years old earlier this month.
It was a part of the university's Pride Week 2022 as explained on OSU's website.
"At Oklahoma State University, we celebrate LGBTQ Pride during April rather than June. Because Pride typically happens when classes are not in session, this change allows our community to celebrate together on campus. In 2019, Stillwater Mayor Will Joyce declared the first week of April Stillwater LGBTQ Pride Week," the website says.
Other events during OSU's Pride Week included Condom Bingo, a pride parade, a Dragonfly Drag Show, and a Lavender Graduation to celebrate the graduating LGBTQ+ students.
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Campus Reform reports that OSU's Pride Week included an April 9th event with two local drag queens reading books "highlighting inclusion and acceptance" to the children, along with "come-and-go craft" activities.
According to the outlet, the university's web page reportedly stated that "activities are geared towards ages 2-8, but all ages are welcome to join in on the fun," however the flyer advertising the Apr. 9 Drag Queen Story Hour notes the target audience included children "ages 2-10."
Upon investigation, CBN News found the web page for the Drag Queen Story Hour event has now been removed from the OSU website.
Ami Rhetto and Olivia Lycan, two drag queens, reportedly read the books Red: A Crayon's Story by Michael Hall and Speak Up by Miranda Paul.
Red: A Crayon's Story is the story about a "blue crayon mistakenly labeled as 'red.'" The story is used as an allegory for transgenderism as the event seeks to normalize the basis for transgender ideology, according to Campus Reform.
Oklahoma State University Museum of Art and the OSU Office of Multicultural Affairs hosted the Drag Queen Story Hour.
CBN News reached out to Oklahoma State University for comment. In an email, Shannon Rigsby, the university's public information officer, explained, "The flyer was an early draft that was incorrect. It had not been updated on one website to reflect that it was a public event. The flyer was removed as soon as we were made aware."
Rigsby also provided a statement from OSU President Dr. Kayse Shrum.
"I became aware of the event when members of my executive team brought a social media post about the event to my attention. The post prompted an immediate and strong reaction from people offering a variety of opinions and comments. While this event was open to the public, the attendance of elementary-aged children was one repeated concern. I appreciate the many different inputs and perspectives and will take them into consideration. I also have concerns," the statement said.
"As a state institution, we are committed to ensuring events and programs align with our education, research, and extension mission. Additionally, we must consider if events and programs complement our historic values," Shrum's statement continued.
"We want all students, staff and faculty members to feel welcomed and valued as individuals. In order to do so, OSU must remain true to our core mission," the statement noted. "We will use this occasion to consider our policies."
"While our look at our policies and practices will be helpful, at the end of the day, we must take into account that the event did not complement our institutional mission, a point we must acknowledge and consider moving forward," the statement concluded.
As CBN News has reported over the last few years, drag queen story events for children increased in popularity at public schools and public libraries.
Some politicians are even promoting them on social media.
Democrat Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, who represents New York's 12th District, tweeted her praise of such transgender events aimed at young children.
"Across the country, books are being banned, which are depriving our nation's youth. But thanks to @NYPL and programs like Draq Queen story hour, NYC's next generation are getting a well rounded education about LGBTQ+ issues and gender identity," Maloney wrote.
Across the country, books are being banned, which are depriving our nation's youth.— Carolyn B. Maloney (@RepMaloney) April 11, 2022
But thanks to @NYPL and programs like Draq Queen story hour, NYC's next generation are getting a well rounded education about LGBTQ+ issues and gender identity. @YuhuaHamasaki pic.twitter.com/BRnbobDWdU
The Drag Queen Story Hour website lists independent chapters located in 27 states and in the District of Columbia. According to the website, the story hour "captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models."
The story hours have primarily been promoted to kids in places like schools and libraries, but other establishments have also announced drag events for children.
The Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle announced it will host a week-long summer camp titled "Drag-tastic Summer Camp: The Art of Drag," slated to take place on August 8–12, Fox News reported.
Individuals aged 12 to 18 will have the chance to "investigate drag history," while also creating drag "personas" during the camp, according to the Seattle museum's website.
"You'll choose your name, explore hair and makeup techniques, and develop your character's stage presence. At the end of the week, celebrate your new drag personas with a private showcase," the event description on the website reads.
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