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Drag Queen Story Hour host blames Tories for ‘queer hate’ in UK ahead of Tate Britain appearance

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Aida H Dee outside London's Tate Britain

Drag Queen Story Hour is heading to London’s Tate Britain for three inclusive reading sessions on 11 February.

Aida H Dee, host and founder of the events, tells PinkNews the Tate appearance is “an honour and just also bonkers”.

Her events, usually staged in libraries across the UK where she reads stories to young children, have drawn anti-LGBTQ+ protesters, accusing the drag queen, attendees and supporters of being “groomers”.

But queer people have also shown up to her events, outnumbering those protesting and even forming a “protective ring” around Aida H Dee to protect her from abuse.

She’s says the Conservative government are to blame for “queer hate” that’s running rampant in the UK.

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Aida H Dee will appear at the iconic London venue in February for reading sessions during LGBTQ+ History Month.

“Years ago I went through this young person’s crisis of what am I going to do with my life,” she says.

“I love that people are calling me a queer hero of literature. It’s so flattering and such an awesome title.”

All over the world, drag queens have taken to getting involved with their own story hours. However, many queens and their sessions have been repeatedly targeted by protestors.

Aida and Drag Queen Story Hour has been targeted in the UK by people while on tour, leaving her, in some cases, fearing for her life.

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

Last year in July, Dee was targeted by protestors who infiltrated the library and began heckling the literature hero. Having to have a police escort when leaving the library, Dee has pressed on, continuing the reading session and inspiring countless LGBTQ+ young people all over the country.

Ahead of the Tate sessions, Dee says she’s still wary of protestors trying to stop the event. A petition damning the event was short-lived, being removed by Change.org in a few moments after it was created.

“Of course preparations are created at each event that I do, and we always do a little bit of a risk assessment on that kind of stuff,” Dee adds.

“It’s sort of things like, you know, do we need to ticket just in case we need to take details and do we need to let the police know and need personal security?

“The fact that we need to take a risk assessment on whether or not I need security is ridiculous, to be honest.”

“I set out to represent myself all those years ago”

Dee says attitudes toward her Story Hour events have deteriorated since she first started, and believes the government is partially to blame for the downhill attitude she’s experiencing.

“I’ve been doing this for years now, and at first it was fine,” she says.

“People loved it and people got involved. But as the country has gotten worse and worse when it comes to supporting queer people, the vitriol has just gotten worse.

“I really don’t like talking politics down to the parties themselves, but you can blame the Tories for how much queer hate there is right now.”

Aida H Dee will be making her Tate debut on 11 February. Visit the Tate’s website for more information.

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