Nursery Schools Begin Rolling Out Transgender Lessons for 2-Year-Olds
Drag queens drafted in to teach children about sexual diversity
Nursery schools have begun to introduce transgender lessons for 2-year-olds to teach them about sexual diversity.
Drag queens have been drafted in as teachers to read nursery rhymes, reworded with "trans themes," to children in a bid "to teach youngsters LGBT tolerance."
Government-backed nurseries say that children must learn to "defy rigid gender restrictions" and that the lessons are needed to "encourage gender fluidity" in kids.
Critics have slammed the new move saying sessions could "confuse children on basics of human existence."
Organisers say parents are welcome to join in the activities being brought into tax-payers-funded schools, that includes cross-dressers performing specially adapted pop and disco hits.
Nursery bosses stated that, although parents are welcome, the schools are not legally obliged to gain consent or even inform families before the lessons take place.
The aim of Drag Queen Story Times is to, according to its website, "aim to capture the imagination and fun of the gender fluidity of childhood while giving children a glamorous, positive unabashedly queer role model."
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Daily Mail reports: They want to target two and three-year-olds to influence them early, as they say at this age children have not yet developed any discriminatory "isms."
The "performances" are the brainchild of Thomas Canham, a Bristol University law graduate and part-time cross-dresser who dismisses traditional notions of masculinity as "meaningless."
But critics last night said the sessions could "blind impressionable children of two and three to one of the most basic facts of human existence."
Leading child psychotherapist Dilys Daws, the co-author of the book Finding Your Way With Your Baby, feared they could sow the seeds of confusion in young children about their own sexual identity, with long-term consequences.
She said: "There’s this idea that’s sweeping the country that being transgender is an 'ordinary situation.'
"It’s getting so much publicity that it’s getting children thinking that they might be transgender when it otherwise wouldn’t have occurred to them."
"But it’s perfectly normal for most young children to think about being the opposite sex.
"It’s probably because they are identifying with a parent or sibling."
Norman Wells, director of the Family Education Trust, said:
"One of the most disturbing things about the transgender agenda is the way that it tries to distort our perception of reality and deny something as fundamental as the distinction between male and female."
Mr. Canham’s organization Drag Queen Story Time (DQST) is holding sessions at seven nurseries run by the London Early Years Foundation over the winter.
If deemed successful, they will be rolled out across all the nursery’s 37 sites.
The chain receives taxpayer cash as many of its children qualify for Government-funded childcare.
Besides reading to the children, sessions so far have included a "Halloween drag disco," face painting and "high tea."
Drag queens at DQST include Donna La Mode, who wears a ginger wig and is described as "the Fairy Queen of the drag world," and "hyperactive" Aida.
Mr. Canham, 26, started his organization earlier this year after reading about a similar outfit in the US.
He said: "Once you think about the idea – which is essentially drag queens reading stories to children – it all makes perfect sense.
"Ultimately, they are performers; they’re larger than life!
"It’s exactly what children want."
He said he wanted to create a "safe space" where adults or children would not be criticized for "wearing a dress."
His drag queens had "complete control" over their performances, he added.
"They can include, for example, drag queen references within songs.
"So if you’re doing something like 'Wheels On The Bus,' you can sing, 'The skirt on the drag queen goes swish, swish, swish.'
"The parents love it, and the children love it too – especially when you’ve got a six-year-old boy there in a princess dress which he isn’t allowed to wear at home because his dad doesn’t like it."
His drag queens also had "a library with books which focus on LGBT rights, feminist fairy tales, and trans-rights issues," said Mr. Canham, the son of a British Army soldier.
"On trans-themes, we’ve got a book called Introducing Teddy where the teddy realizes she’s a girl teddy, not a boy teddy, and is worried her owner won’t like her anymore.
"It’s a cute book," he said.
He said most venues "give us free reign" but noted that London Early Years Foundation "has requested we focus on books they already have at their nurseries."
June O’Sullivan, chief executive of LEYF, said:
"By providing spaces in which children can see people who defy rigid gender restrictions, it allows them to imagine the world in which people can present [themselves] as they wish."
She told BBC London radio it was good to expose very young children to men who dress as women, "because children are very open until about three."
"At three they begin to absorb all the 'isms' that adults have developed very effectively," she explained.
Both Mr. Canham and Ms. O’Sullivan said the storytelling sessions were also a way of getting parents to realize "transvestites and transsexuals" were "people just like you."
Greg Stewart Lane, the manager of the chain’s Soho nursery in Central London, which hosted the first event on Halloween, said they were motivated by a recent increase in the number of hate crimes in England and Wales.
Reported hate crimes rose 29 percent in the last year, Home Office figures show, although only one in six was considered serious enough for a suspect to be charged.