Birmingham & Black Country

No Outsiders row: Drag queens read books to children

Drag Queens Yshee Black, Patrick and Lacey Lou with children
Image caption Drag queens from 'Fantabulosa!' read the stories at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Drag queens have read story books featuring same-sex relationships at the centre of a row to children amid protests outside schools.

The books form part of the No Outsiders programme, developed by Andrew Moffat at Parkfield Community School in Birmingham.

Parents angry at the LGBT relationship education aspect have been protesting outside the school since January.

Drag Story Time was organised in response to "celebrate diversity".

Adam Carver, who runs 'Fantabulosa!', the group behind the story time, said the protests have had "a real impact on the LGBTQI+ community".

Image caption Yshee Black said the group wanted to use the books to teach children "just love"

At a meeting on Thursday, community members said they had "never felt more vulnerable" in Birmingham, and the city's LGBT centre reported a rise in hate crime.

Mr Carver said: "I wanted to do something that would be really positive, but also give people the chance to hear the stories that are involved in these programmes for themselves.

"There's been a lot of myths and a lot of misconceptions around what's happening."

One of the books, King and King, was read by Yshee Black at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

Image caption King and King tells the story of two princes who fall in love

"It's a story of loving who you love and everyone just accepting that," she said.

"What's a bit of love? Everyone's equal... and that's what we're here to show the kids, just love."

For several weeks, parents, mostly of Muslim faith, have been calling on Parkfield Community to scrap the programme which uses the books to teach children about same sex couples.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Protests against LGBT relationship education have been held outside schools in Birmingham

Protests have spread to other Birmingham schools, with Parkfield among five to suspend the lessons, and are also beginning in Greater Manchester.

Parents say the lessons are not age appropriate and contradict their faith.

The school is now "re-engaging" with parents to reach an agreement.

Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites