Stockholm deputy mayor dons drag for children’s story hour in powerful stand against ‘populism’

Stockholm politician Jan Jönsson dressed in drag and hosting a Drag Queen Story Hour event in support of LGBTQ+ community

Stockholm’s deputy mayor had a drag makeover to take a much-needed stand against anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric.

Swedish politician Jan Jönsson stepped into a brand new drag persona to speak out against “populism and intolerance”, following recent Drag Queen Story Hour events in Stockholm public libraries being targeted by far-right protesting, Euronews reported.

“We have seen a worsening situation for LGBTQ persons in general, but against [trans] people specifically. And I think the right-wing movement is trying to use these Drag Queen Story Hours to get to the entire LGBTQ community,” Jönsson told the outlet.

He criticised the right-wing Sweden Democrats for attempting to “forbid these readings in public libraries”. The party’s leader has called family-friendly drag events “absolutely insane”.

The 45-year-old was transformed with the help of Drag Race Sverige winner Admira Thunderpussy.

He shared a video to Twitter of his role in the story hour, adding: “Fairy tales are not dangerous for children and neither are drag queens.

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“In contrast, populism and intolerance have crushed the dreams of many individuals throughout history.”

Jönsson told Euronews that when drag story events first started in Stockholm in 2017 there was “no debate at all”, and that recent right-wing protests have been “very worrying”.

“I am very concerned that these types of movements will come from the United States … and not only this cultural outlet will be forbidden by law, but also more of our freedoms,” he said.

Jönsson said he has received “love and support” following his stunt, but that he has also seen backlash and “hate groups” posting on his social media channels.

The politician added: “What I found out was that it really hurts to be a drag queen because you need to wear a corset, and just putting on the makeup took two hours, and I couldn’t eat or drink or go to the toilet for six hours!

“But you don’t have to get dressed in drag to show your support. It can be even more important to talk to your neighbours and people at work and make your position clear, that you support freedom of expression.”

America has been at the forefront of banning drag performances, with several states attempting to ban or restrict drag – though some states have since seen these laws struck down.

There have been an increasing number of anti-drag protests in the UK, mostly met with even larger counter protests.

UK reality TV icon Gemma Collins recently slammed those opposing drag performances, telling them to “get a grip”.

Speaking out after performance collective Drag Syndrome faced anti-LGBTQ+ criticism, Collins said the dancers had “the GC stamp of approval”, and that they would “keep rising”.

“This whole world deserves love … everyone can be who they want to be. You haters should be ashamed,” she said.

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