A French mayor has cancelled a drag queen storytime event for children after backlash and reorientated the event for adults only, after a petition against the event garnered around 5,000 signatures.
Mayor of Toulouse Jean-Luc Moudenc announced that the planned drag queen event, which was planned for February 18th and originally for children between the ages of three and six, would be reoriented so that only adults would be able to attend after facing a backlash.
The announcement came on Tuesday after a petition organised by the group Furie Française, an activist group made up of some former members of the anti-mass migration youth group Generation Identitaire, along with the pro-traditional family movement Manif Pour Tous, Franceinfo reports.
“This choice of programming – which did not give rise to any visa or endorsement from elected officials – can destabilize part of the public,” Mayor Moudenc said and added that it disapproved strongly of various comments made toward the drag performers on social media networks.
The city stated that it “strongly condemns any form of extremism, threat or discriminatory expression towards Shanna Banana and Brandy Snap, who intervene in the workshop in question,” and added that it called on Interior Minister Gerald Damanin to dissolve the Furie Française group, claiming it to be “the origin of the threats and disturbance of public order.”
Swedish Populists Compared to Putin for Opposing Drag Queen Story Time https://t.co/PBsKzWLxdJ
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Darmanin dissolved the Generation Identitaire group in 2021, arguing that the activists in the group had incited violence and accused them of forming a private “militia” and incited hate speech.
The backlash to the drag queen event in Toulouse is not an isolated case in France in recent months, as another show in Bordeaux saw backlash in December, though the local municipal government supported the event.
Other European countries have also seen similar criticisms of drag queen events for children, such as in Sweden, where members of the populist Sweden Democrats spoke out about the events and attempted to have an event cancelled at a library in Trelleborg last month.
Green Party spokeswoman Märta Stenevi reacted to the attempt by comparing the populists to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
A group of concerned parents disrupted a performance of Drag Queen Story Hour in Britain on Tuesday, accusing the touring troupe of trying to “groom” young children. https://t.co/GmOOGeDw48
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) July 27, 2022