Douglas Ross’ ‘nonsense’ criticism of joyful and ‘important’ drag queen story event backfires

Douglas Ross Miss Lottie Mouth

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross calling a drag queen story time in his constituency “totally inappropriate” didn’t stop more than 100 families enjoying the child-friendly reading event. 

On Saturday (10 June), drag queen Miss Lossie Mouth led a children’s story event organised by the council of Ross’ Moray constituency in north-east Scotland in honour of Pride Month. 

Miss Lossie Mouth – also known as John Campbell, a local teacher – reported receiving death threats and being told to take her own life in a statement on social media. 

The drag queen said she woke up with “trepidation” as to how the day was going to “play out” following Ross’ comments and the hate she received, but a strong protester presence failed to materialise at the library. 

Instead, more than 100 families showed up to be entertained by Miss Lottie in her rainbow foam wig, sparkly red shoes and dress decorated with Disney princesses.

“We had over 100 families wanting to hear about Zee Zee the zebra, And Tango Makes Three and Unicom NOT wanted,” Miss Lottie wrote. 

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“Disney songs were sung and we danced and laughed and young people asked me about my hair and dress.

“My heart could burst with pride.

“Thank you Elgin,” Miss Lottie continued. “The hatred is keyboard warriors, inciting hatred for the sake of it – hidden behind anonymous profiles and believing in conspiracies and inciting hatred through damaging rhetoric.”

The drag performer also accused Ross of “feeding into conspiracy theories and moral panic” and suggested he “read the documentation provided by Education Scotland on improving gender balance and equalities

“To the haters; you haven’t won. To those who attended, thank you so much for coming out and supporting something that created so much joy this morning.”

The Scottish Tory leader tweeted on Tuesday (6 June): “It’s totally inappropriate to hold a show like this for kids under the age of six.

“Story time for babies and young kids shouldn’t focus on gender or sexual identity.

“That is common sense and on behalf of constituents who’ve contacted me, I’ve raised this with the council.”

However, parents who showed up with their children, aged up to six years old, disagreed. 

The Press and Journal reported parents calling the event “amazing” and full of “important” stories about inclusion and acceptance. 

One mother said that her son was “dancing and singing”. She continued: “There was absolutely nothing untoward about it at all, it was no different to Mr Tumble.”

Miss Lottie said: “I could have read these three books today and done all my singing and dancing as 42-year-old man John the teacher, but that would have been very boring.

“But as Miss Lossie Mouth, I’ve developed this character that is basically your mum’s best pal or your favourite aunt to make it more entertaining and engaging.” 

SNP councillor for Elgin City North Jérémie Fernandes described the library as “the busiest it’s ever been” for the drag story event”.

“The Moray community responded to Douglas Ross’s bigoted comment with love, empathy, and care for one another,” he continued in a post on Twitter. “But at the end of the day, it’s just kids enjoying stories.”

The SNP equalities minister Emma Roddick called on Ross to apologise for his comments, “reflect and attend the reading session”, while Green MSP Maggie Chapman slammed Ross’ comments as “preposterous and narrow-minded”. 

“Douglas Ross is showing his true colours,” Chapman said. “He’s cast himself as a pantomime villain with his preposterous and narrow-minded attacks on a simple and innocent community event.

“Why would anyone want to stop children from learning about the joys of reading and books? Or about the diversity of our families and communities?

“Is Douglas Ross desperately scraping the barrel for more cynical culture war nonsense? Oh yes he is.”

Ross told the PA news agency that he condemned all threats made against Miss Lottie.

“I strongly condemn any and all threats made towards Mr Naples-Campbell. When I made my feelings known about this event, I was doing so on behalf of many constituents in Moray who had made their concerns known to me.

“I remain of the opinion that the event was not appropriate for babies and children under six and from the messages I’ve received, this view was shared by many people in my constituency and across Scotland.

“Debate can only be improved on these matters if there is an acceptance of differing views and opinions.”

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