New York City has spent more than $200,000 in taxpayer funding over the past five years to have drag queens come into classrooms and spend time with schoolchildren.
The New York Post reported that the nonprofit Drag Story Hour NYC, previously known as Drag Queen Story Hour NYC, received approximately $207,000 in taxpayer funding since 2018.
This includes a contribution from New York State through its Council on the Arts for $50,000, and $157,000 set aside from New York City’s Departments of Education, Cultural Affairs, Youth and Community Development, and Department of Transportation.
In May alone, Drag Story Hour NYC earned $46,000 from city contracts for appearing at public schools, street festivals, and libraries, according to city records.
The group’s website noted that it has organized 49 drag programs in 34 public schools since January.
The events involve drag performers reading to children at public schools, libraries and other LGBTQ centers, and has now expanded to include coloring activities.
According to a reading list the group shared online, performers read classics like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and “The Rainbow Fish,” but also include books such as “The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish Swish Swish” and “The Dragtivity Book”.
“The Dragtivity Book” reportedly encourages kids to choose their pronouns and invent drag names.
“It costs us $600 to produce each DSH program, but we only charge public schools $300 per program, and we offer a limited number of free programs for schools that can’t afford the fee,” the website says.
“I am considering pulling funding to any school in my district that is implementing Drag Queen Story Hour,” said City Council member Vickie Paladino.
“We are taking hundreds of thousands of dollars out of the pockets of hardworking New York taxpayers … to fund a program teaching little children about their gender fluidity? Not. On. My. Watch.,” she added.