Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Moray Council condemns ‘offensive’ abuse about Elgin drag queen story-telling event

Miss Lossie Mouth is has defended the event, stressing they use drag to teach about acceptance.

Image featuring drag queen Miss Lossie Mouth in centre featuring rainbow lines either side with Drag Queen Story Time written along bottom.
Moray Council says Miss Lossie Mouth will bring "glamour" to Elgin Library.

Moray Council has condemned social media abuse after organising a Drag Queen Story Hour event in Elgin as part of Pride month.

Miss Lossie Mouth is due to host a Saturday morning story telling session for children up to six years old featuring tales promoting diversity and acceptance.

Within hours of promoting the Elgin Library drag queen event, Moray Council was forced to turn off Facebook comments after being inundated with “offensive and abusive” comments.

Moray MP Douglas Ross has described the show as “inappropriate” and says he has contacted the local authority to raise concerns from locals while others have praised the local authority for organising the event.

Moray Council has stressed it has no plans to cancel the event. Meanwhile, it is understood protests are being considered for the day.

Miss Lossie Mouth has stressed the event aims to teach children about acceptance and how to remain authentic against the toughest of circumstances.

What is the Elgin Library event?

Drag Queen story hours have been held across the UK aiming to promote inclusivity through storytelling and other fun activities.

The Elgin Library session, featuring teacher John Campbell as Miss Lossie Mouth, will feature three stories aimed at showcasing diversity.

Zee Zee the Zebra features a zebra who is not allowed to play with other zebras because its stripes are a different colour, And Tango Makes Three is about two male penguins who start a family and Unicorn Not Wanted is about a unicorn who is not wanted but still takes the limelight.

Please Read

Posted by Miss Lossie Mouth on Tuesday, 6 June 2023

When the event was advertised, Mr Campbell said: “As a teacher myself I appreciate the way to instil a love of reading from an early age is to make it fun.

“That’s exactly what Drag Queen story time does with an engaging hour of colourful, joyous stories.”

Following the controversy, a statement from Miss Lossie Mouth said: “Drag queens and kings turn trash into treasure, taking our inner spark and allowing it to shine on the outside.

The Elgin Library aims to promote diversity and inclusivity.

“And we invite respect through the audacity of being our most fabulous selves, holding our heads high even against the toughest critics.

“I’m using drag as an educator and performer to teach acceptance and how to use your superhero powers to be your authentic self even in the darkest of times.”

What is the drag queen controversy?

Within minutes of Moray Council promoting the Elgin Library drag queen event on social media, comments began being posted horrified at the prospect of children enjoying the stories.

One wrote: “This is awful. Let kids be kids.”

Another added: “Go read to the elderly if they’re that desperate to read books out loud. Leave the kids alone.”

A third said: “Shameful. Just shameful.”

However, others have praised Moray Council for organising the event.

One said: “Amazing and well done Moray Council. Wish I was younger, would definitely love to come along.

The comments 👀 but we rise and sing as loud as we can… also when did I become an ‘adult entertainer’?! Have they seen any of my shows 😂😂😂😂

Posted by Miss Lossie Mouth on Monday, 5 June 2023

“Ignore the haters, they have a choice not to bring their kids, it really is that simple.”

Another added: “Oh no, the poor kids. How dare they be exposed to some excitement and diversity. How will they ever cope?

“Get a grip people, or do you have an issue with children watching panto?”

Moray Council stressed in its Facebook comments that it organises story times based on different themes, with the one featuring Miss Lossie Mouth focusing on inclusion and acceptance for Pride month.”

It later added: “It’s a shame we’re having to switch the comments off on this post due to the offensive, abusive, defamatory nature of some.

“It goes against the grain to stifle debate when we’re trying to promote acceptance, tolerance and open-mindedness but some people have taken their contribution too far into personal abuse, which is not tolerated on our page.

Moray Council has condemned online comments about the Elgin Library drag queen event. Image: Shutterstock

“On the other hand, the thread demonstrates what our LGBTQ+ friends still have to deal with regularly. And why we support Pride month.”

A spokeswoman later added: “We appreciate and accept that everyone has differing views on drag queens but believe our fun, lively and joyous celebration of reading and self-expression is a suitable way to encourage confidence in our young readers.

“We look forward to singing and reading together while breaking down some of those myths about libraries – it certainly won’t be quiet!”

Miss Lossie Mouth also expressed shock at the comments on their own Facebook page, adding: “But we rise and sing as loud as we can.”

However, many others on social media praised Moray Council for organising the event.

Sean McNamara, from the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, said: “Libraries exist to support every member of their community and to encourage people to learn about the world around them in a respectful way.

“Drag Queen Story Hour has proved to be an extremely popular way of doing just that and has a demonstrably positive effect on children’s reading and engagement and is a valuable way of teaching literacy skills.”

Is it any different to pantomime?

The Miss Lossie Mouth drag queen event at Elgin Library has provoked a divisive reaction from across the community.

Pride in Moray held its first event in the town last year to bring members of the LGBT+ community together.

When the Miss Lossie Mouth event was announced, the group gave its backing to the event, a stance it continues to have.

Chairman David Harrison said: “There’s been a lot of concerns about the comments. I think for some reason people think this is going to be adult entertainment aimed at children – that’s really not happening.

David Harrison organises events in Moray to promote inclusivity.

“It’s a drag act who is reading stories based on inclusivity and equality being presented in a way for children of that age. It’s not sexualised, it’s not about gender conformity, it’s just about accepting others.

“It’s been discussed within the committee and one person asked if it was really different to pantomimes?”

Meanwhile, concerns have been raised by others about the impact of exposing young children to drag queen acts.

Daphne Francis, a member of Safeguarding School Children in Moray, described Miss Lossie Mouth as a “very offensive caricature” of women – adding the group is considering some form of protest at the event if it goes ahead.

She said: “It’s (drag acts) an overblown and stereotypical image of women with inflated breasts on display. To be supportive of displaying it to children from zero to six, I can’t believe it.

Moray Council regularly flies the rainbow flag for Pride month.

“Obviously the parents who take their children are supportive of it clearly don’t understand this can be linked to very serious issues. We don’t want to upset parents, we want to engage with them.

“It’s more fun for adults. A lot of people like drag shows. If you want to get your children reading though there’s 101 different ways to get them engaged in books.”

Elgin drag queen row turns political

Politicians from a range of parties have got involved in the row.

Moray MP Douglas Ross, who is Scottish Conservatives leader, has written to Moray Council to raise concerns from locals.

On Twitter, he wrote: “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.

However, his involvement has been condemned by Neil Alexander, leader of the Moray Liberal Democrats.

He said: “The vile hatred directed at Miss Lossie Mouth and Moray Council regarding this event is unacceptable in Scotland in 2023.

“The event was announced on the same day as new stats showed that Moray has the highest percentage of child poverty in the entire north of Scotland, yet that has received nowhere near the same attention.

“It’s deplorable of our elected MP to be attacking this individual in this way and stoking such hatred. We deserve better.”

Meanwhile, SNP Elgin councillor Jeremie Fernandes, who works in library, has condemned Twitter comments about the event as “absolutely disgusting”.

He added: “One of public libraries’ missions is to promote acceptance, tolerance and open-mindedness.

“Libraries are a welcoming environment for all. These comments show that we need Pride more than ever.”