Douglas Ross accused of ‘thinly-veiled homophobia’ after complaining about drag queen story time

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Scottish Conservatives leader and Tory MP Douglas Ross has faced accusations of “homophobia” over a tweet in which he claimed it’s “totally inappropriate” for children under six to attend a ‘Drag Queen Story Time’ event in his Moray constituency.

That’s despite, you know, pantomime dames existing and performing in front of children without much issue for many years now.

Nevertheless, Mr Ross showed how supportive he was of the culture sector in Moray by attacking a tweet from Moray Council on Tuesday, in which the local authority shared details of the story time with drag act Miss Lossie Mouth taking place at Elgin Library on Saturday.

The MP and MSP fumed: “It’s totally inappropriate to hold a show like this for kids under the age of six. Story time for babies and young kids shouldn’t focus on gender or sexual identity.

“That is common sense and on behalf of constituents who have contacted me, I’ve raised this with the council.”

The children’s books which are set to be read to attendees include And Tango Makes Three (which is about two gay, male penguins), Zee Zee the Zebra (a zebra with multicoloured stripes whose friends “don’t let her join in with their games”), and Unicorn Not Wanted (about a “unicorn that hijacks the story”).

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Oh, and the three stories don’t appear to mention sex (shockingly, a key aspect of sexuality) – because, well, they’re books for children.

Miss Lossie Mouth said: “As a teacher myself, I appreciate the way to instil a love of reading from an early age is to make it fun. That’s exactly what drag queen storytelling does with an engaging hour of colourful, joyous stories.”

Sean McNamara, of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals which represents library workers, added: “Libraries exist to support every member of their community and to encourage people to learn about the world around them in a respectful way.

“Drag queen storytelling has proved to be an extremely popular way of doing just that and has a demonstrably positive effect on children’s reading and engagement and is a valuable way of teaching literacy skills.”

You would think Mr Ross would welcome an opportunity to increase literacy in his constituency, especially given how he criticised former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for the wide attainment gap for reading, writing, literacy and numeracy back in December, but apparently not.

Thankfully, Twitter was on hand to ridicule and criticise the Conservative politician:

Even Conservative candidates for the next election have taken issue with Mr Ross’s comments:

The remarks from the Tory MP are the latest development to wade into the culture war surrounding drag, which has seen controversial right-wing group Turning Point UK consistently protest drag queen story time events at Lewisham’s Honour Oak pub, and Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene publish tweets branding drag queens as “child predators”.

In a statement to The Heraldfollowing the backlash, Mr Ross said: “I make no apologies for standing up for issues of importance to the people I represent in Moray, many of whom share my concern that this show is inappropriate for babies and young children.”

He also told The National: “I raised this issue with the council on behalf of concerned constituents, who had contacted me about it.

“While these shows are suitable for adults, they are not appropriate for very young children.

“Story time for babies and kids under six – such as my own two sons – shouldn’t focus on gender or sexual identity.”

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