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Fury as ‘trans man’ reads gay penguins book to kids at New Zealand library drag queen story hour event: ‘Grooming children’

Dunedin New Zealand drag queen story hour Ann Arkii

A drag queen story hour event at Dunedin City Library sparked protests outside the venue, and an angry reaction online after details of the books children were exposed to were revealed.

More than a dozen anti-child grooming protesters turned up at the library in the Otago region of New Zealand where “transgender male” drag queen Ann Arkii read a number of sexualised books to kids.

Pamela Taylor, who has run for parliament and mayor of Dunedin, wrote on X that “it was not a positive experience”.

“We should defund the Dunedin City Library as they are sexually grooming the children there,” she said.

She said the books being read by Ann Arkii, also known as Ms Annie, included one about gay penguins, the history of “pride”, two females getting married, and dressing up like opposite gender.

According to Ms Taylor, the approximately 14 children aged one to 8 in attendance mainly looked bored but started crying while the drag performer read.

Ms Annie shared a photo of herself reading the gay penguin book – And Tango Makes Three – on social media after the event, along with a selfie saying “I think these bigots (sic) brains would explode if they found out I’m a trans man”.

And Tango Makes Three is about two male penguins who fall in love and mate before adopting and hatching a female chick. It has been banned from a number of schools, libraries and school districts across the US, as well as in the UK and Hong Kong.

The drag queen event, organised by Dunedin Pride, was attended by Dunedin city councillor Christine Garey, who told the Otago Daily Times that the atmosphere in the room was warm, in contrast to “hatred and bigotry”.

The Otago Daily Times did not interview any of the protesters, but quoted two attendees, the performer, and Ms Garey. The articles said the stories were about “family, harmony and love” and was headlined: “Drag story time has kids ‘absolutely enamoured’.”

Ms Taylor said signs held by protesters said “a trans woman is a man” and “protect female rights” while a video at the scene shows a woman holding a placard saying “female women is not a feeling”.

Dunedin Public Libraries turned commenting off on a post promoting the event due to a large volume of negative responses.

It told Noticer News: “Pride Month is about valuing diversity, and the DCC’s vision is for Dunedin to be a city with vibrant and cohesive communities, which celebrates its identity and cultural diversity.

“Dunedin Public Libraries is a community facility, open to all without judgement or prejudice. We support inclusivity​ and diversity and provide a range of programmes and services for everyone in our community to enjoy.

“Rainbow Stories with Miss Annie, featuring local drag performer Ann Arkii, is a fun, family-friendly event organised by Dunedin Pride to celebrate diversity, inclusivity and kindness.

“Age-appropriate books have been chosen to be read to the audience, and focus on different family units, kindness, love and the many diverse friends and family members that children may know.”

Social media users slammed the event, with many saying the library should be shut down.

“Shame on councils being party to sexualising innocent children. And using libraries for grooming them. Disgusting,” wrote an X user.

“Why don’t they take that drag queen trash to the old folks homes why are they always doing it to children?” asked another.

“Parents that take their kids to this should be ashamed of themselves,” said a third.

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