Update: Wilson Gavin has died, news reports say. See our story here.
A group of University of Queensland Liberal National Club members, led by Wilson Gavin, aggressively interrupted a Drag Queen Story Time event on Sunday. The event, held at Brisbane Square Library, featured drag queens Queeny and Diamond Good-Rim reading children’s stories to parents and their kids. A group of young male and female UQ LNP members sabotaged the event by loudly and incessantly chanting, “Drag queens are not for kids!”
Johnny Valkyrie, AKA Queeny, says the group will seek legal action.
The incident was captured on video and has been uploaded to social media, attracting mostly censure and outrage from the public. Jess Origliasso from The Veronicas uploaded a video on her Instagram account with the comment:
“This morning a good friend of mine took her daughter along to a children’s storytelling event in Brisbane by two gorgeous Drag Queens, when a screaming group calling themselves the UQ young Libs stormed the event, causing chaos and distress to children and everybody there.” Origliasso was furious about the incident, and asserted her support for the drag queens involved.
“Bless the two Queens who were there to bring joy to children and their families. What you share with our community is invaluable.”
In a Facebook post, the group of protesters wrote that they “believe that the use of rate-payer money on hiring Drag Queens … is deeply inappropriate and does not align with the LNP values the Council should be promoting.”
However, members of the LNP have disassociated themselves from this rebel group.
Brisbane member of the federal LNP, Trevor Evans stated: “The ratbags who protested the event wouldn’t know liberal values if they fell over them.”
Councillor, Vicki Howard agrees: “The small group of people involved in this completely inappropriate display do not in any way represent how we as a Council and the LNP feels, and it will not and never will be tolerated.”
Drag Queen Story Time events are held in many other states and in a number of countries. This event was organised by Rainbow Families Queensland who issued a statement after the incident.
“Sadly a group of people disrupted the event towards the end, chanting homophobic chants and causing distress to the children and parents attending,” the statement read.
Drag queens hired for Story Time are professional entertainers who are required to have “working with children” clearance – as do all adults who work or interact with children.
Both Diamond and Queeny have expressed sadness and distress about the incident on their social media channels. They have also thanked the public for the overwhelming support they’ve received.
Valkyrie has reported the incident to the police and intends to take legal action.