Multiple petitions on ‘Drag Story Time’ launched in Brisbane

Several petitions have been launched urging the Brisbane City Council to ban Drag Story Time events from the city’s libraries. At the same time a petition calling for the council to continue its support of diversity initiatives has also been launched.

The petitions follow a protest of the children’s event last weekend by Queensland University’s Liberal National Student Club. The day after the protest the group’s leader Wilson Gavin tragically took his own life.

One of the petitions against the event comes from Wendy Francis (pictured above) from the Australian Christian Lobby. In her petition Francis argues that drag performers are unsuitable for children, offensive to women and may cause children to question their gender.

Queensland based LGBTI site QNews however has highlighted that many of the people supporting Francis’ petition do not live in the state or are from fictional suburbs.

The petition has attracted over 3,500 signatures has has been promoted by former Australian Christian Lobby boss Lyle Shelton. In an article on his website Shelton described the performers at the weekend event as “dangerous role models.”

Shelton goes on to misgenders performer Queenie, who is transgender. Shelton describes the artist as someone who “wants to slice her breasts off”.

Shelton’s article has been widely criticised, with friends of Wilson Gavin accusing the political lobbyist of using the young man’s death for political gain. Performer Queenie hit back at Shelton on social media accusing him of being transphobic, an accusation Shelton refuted.

Entertainment reporter Peter Ford also took to social media to criticise Shelton, saying both he and Francis were “obsessed to a level beyond decency or respect or compassion”.

A second petition launched by Peter Hayden calls for the Brisbane City Council to go further. Hayden asks for the council to remove all LGBTIQ+ related literature and books from the library.

Hayden claims the delivery of programs like Drag Story Time lead to vilification of people who hold religious beliefs and people who are heterosexual. The petition also calls for legislation to be introduced that would stop any LGBTIQ+ content being included in public libraries in the future.

A third petition has been launched calling for council to maintain their support for diversity and the LGBTIQ+ community and their families.  The petition from Q-News publisher Richard Bakker asks the council to “acknowledge that our city is made up of beautifully diverse cultural backgrounds, lifestyles, experiences and beliefs.”

The petition advocating for the Drag Story Time program has attracted over 4,000 signatures.

OIP Staff

Do you need some support?

If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, support and counselling are available from:

Lifeline: 13 11 14 or

Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636 and

QLife: 1800 184 527 and
QLife are a counselling and referral service for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people.