Congressman Jerry Nadler of New York claimed to have never heard of Drag Queen Story Hour while marching in an NYC Pride Parade in Manhattan.
Six months earlier, Nadler tweeted in support of the organization and the LGBTQ+ community.
Nadler appeared in the parade carrying a rainbow flag and wearing a pro-gender intersectionality pin on June 25.
“How do you respond to all the right-wing moral panic that we’re seeing surrounding Drag Queen Story Hour?” asked Timcast News during the event.
“I’m not familiar with Drag Queen Story Hour,” Nadler said while shrugging.
“You’re not familiar with Drag Queen Story Hour?”
“At all? You’ve never heard of Drag Queen Story Hour Before?”
“No,” said Nadler.
Also found Congressman Jerry Nadler at NYC Pride and asked what he thinks about the right wing moral panic surrounding drag queen story hour. He told me he’s never heard of drag queen story hour. https://t.co/xmgxz4feL5 pic.twitter.com/8MieIZyJQd
— Timcast News (@TimcastNews) June 25, 2023
However, Nadler was aware of Drag Queen Story Hour in December 2022.
The congressman tweeted in support of New York City Council Member Erik Bottcher after Bottcher wrote on Twitter that “Drag Story Hour protesters” gained entry to his apartment building. Bottcher shared photos of chalk messages agedly written by the protestors on the sidewalk including “Ok Groomer” and “Erik Boccher is a pedo child groomer.”
“This is pure hate, unmasked. If they think this is going to intimidate us, they’re mistaken,” wrote the city council member on December 19. “Our resolve is strengthened.”
Bottcher had organized a Drag Queen Story Hour the weekend before “at the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan,” per ABC News. Two women were arrested for trespassing at his apartment.
“I stand with my friend [Erik Bottcher], Drag Queen Story Hour, and the LGBTQ+ community against this disgusting display of hate,” wrote Nadler, who shared Bottcher’s post. “Elected officials have a responsibility to condemn this false, dangerous rhetoric that’s being used as a new way to discriminate against the community.”
I stand with my friend @ebottcher, Drag Queen Story Hour, and the LGBTQ+ community against this disgusting display of hate.
Elected officials have a responsibility to condemn this false, dangerous rhetoric that’s being used as a new way to discriminate against the community. https://t.co/BPeM3gwHxo
— Rep. Nadler (@RepJerryNadler) December 20, 2022
Drag Queen Story Hour, which recently revised its name to Drag Story Hour, is a nationally recognized nonprofit comprised of a network of local chapters that organize children’s events featuring drag performers.
“Storytellers using the art of drag to read books to kids in libraries, schools, and bookstores,” states the group’s website. “DSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where everyone can be their authentic selves!”
The organization and children’s events that incorporate drag have been widely denounced as inappropriate and potentially predatory.
“Lawmakers in 14 states, including Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina and Texas, have proposed laws to outlaw drag in public or at businesses that admit people under 18,” reported the Los Angeles Times in February. “In Tennessee, proposed legislation could require places with ‘male or female impersonators who provide entertainment that appeals to a prurient interest’ to register as strip clubs.”
Nadler is widely regarded as a champion of LGBTQ issues. The 76-year-old was featured in a Pride Month Twitter post by his alma mater, Stuyvesant High School, on June 14.
The elite school wrote that Nadler “not only represents NY well but also [is] an ally for trans equality, civil,LGBT, & Women’s rights.”
“He was 1st from NY congressional delegation to support marriage equality,” the school added.