Free Speech Union calls on Liz Truss to censor family-friendly drag events

Aida H Dee performs during a Drag Queen Story Hour event.

The so-called Free Speech Union (FSU) has called for prime minister Liz Truss to ban family-friendly drag in a social media post.

The self-proclaimed “organisation dedicated to upholding free speech” has, ironically, urged Truss to restrict events it views as “political indoctrination” at school in a tweet posted on Saturday (10 September).

The post also attached a Linkedin blog post in which members of the FSU described family-friendly drag as a “trojan horse” for what it calls “radical gender theory”.

“[FSU members] will no doubt be familiar with the phenomenon of Drag Queen Story Hour. These events were first trialled in 2015 at a public library in San Francisco and have since been enthusiastically adopted by teachers and librarians in the UK,” the post read.

“Supporters of the Drag Queen Story Hour movement argue these ‘performances are similar to pantomimes, except they are explicitly literacy-focused and support an interest in reading’,” it continued, citing a Daily Mail article.

“The founder of the UK version of Drag Queen Story Hour also thinks that the ‘delivery of these stories is a celebration of communities who have been historically marginalised and had their voices silenced’.”


Drag Queen Story Hour UK founder Sab Samuel, better known as drag star Aida H Dee, has hit back at the FSU criticism of their events.

“These groups believe what we do is indoctrination when it’s not,” Aida told PinkNews.

“All we do is prevent hatred because you don’t have to teach acceptance to young children.”

Oftentimes, when anti-LGBTQ+ groups target family-friendly drag, they accuse performers of “sexualising children” which, as Aida H Dee explains, couldn’t be further from the truth.

“Drag Queen Story Hour UK isn’t sexualised at all,” she said.

“I find it concerning that they choose to sexualise shows that aren’t sexual at all. You’ll often find that these groups are not just bullies, but victims of misinformation. They never mention the work we do with councils and parents.

“These shows are a celebration of queer communities and queer history at a time when things are getting worse. Why we’re regressing is a complex issue, but it has a lot to do with Truss’ cabinet.”

Calls by anti-LGBTQ+ groups like the Free Speech Union to silence drag shows pale in comparison to the government’s decision to act upon them, according to Aida.

“I don’t think FSU is concerning personally, as a specific group, they’re nothing to be concerned about. But the decisions Liz Truss makes could put us at a real risk,” Aida adds.

“The next few years could see major laws put in place by our government could be on the same level as something like Roe v Wade or Section 28.

Aida added that they’re not looking forward to the next few years in the UK as an LGBTQ+ person.

“I don’t trust our new equalities minister Nadhim Zahawi and think [Truss’] decision to put him in that position is not just insulting, but the start of a very difficult path for queer people.”