Melbourne drag queen Annie Depressant is the latest victim of Marijke Rancie’s anti-LGBTI campaigning, targeted by hundreds of homophobic and transphobic comments on her ‘Political Posting Mumma’ Facebook page.
Annie earlier this year launched a drag storytime event for children at libraries in Wyndham, south-west of Melbourne.
“There’s a lot of [transphobic] slurs,” Annie told the Star Observer.
“A lot of people have called me a trans woman, which is not true, I am a cis man.
“There’s been a number of threats.
“I’m being accused of sexualising children… claims that I am a paedophile.”
Followers of Rancie have called Annie everything from “sick” and “evil” to “socialist” and “communist”.
“These people don’t know me—they’ve never heard of me before,” said Annie.
“I have a working with children check. Nothing’s not above board.”
She said that drag storytime is important for children to learn the importance of diversity and inclusion, and the events were planned over a number of months with input from the libraries.
“The children were ecstatic,” said Annie of the first storytime.
“Some of them knew what a drag queen was and they were excited to meet one.
“It was nothing but just really fun entertainment.
“Nothing has ever been about saying ‘change your gender’ or ‘be a gay person’, it was ‘accept yourself and love yourself’.”
Many people have misunderstood the drag storytime flyer, believing the event to be school-based and mandatory.
Annie said she wants people to understand the facts rather than imaginary dangers.
“This isn’t a school program, it’s at the library,” she said.
“It is not government-run. I’m an individual person who runs these, and I’ve just been invited into a space.
“These aren’t mandatory. Nobody’s being forced to come or forced to listen. It is perfectly acceptable for somebody to say ‘this isn’t for me’ and walk away, and I understand and respect that.
“I am a person at the end of the day. How can we treat a human being in this negative way?”
More than 700 comments have been made on the Facebook post, some defending Annie and the drag storytime, but most consisting of homophobic and transphobic criticism.
“One said ‘this is why I carry [a weapon],” said Annie.
“That was a lot to read. It surprisingly shocked me more than I thought it ever would.
“That’s when I started to realise this is not just people in Victoria, this is people commenting from all corners of the globe.”
Rancie has railed against drag storytimes before, and was an anti–marriage equality campaigner.
She was last year elected to a position with the Victorian Liberal Party.
She is reportedly currently being sued for defamation over her 2017 Facebook tirade against a staff member of youth group Minus18.
Annie will next be appearing at Whittlesea Library for a special International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) drag storytime this Friday.
She said she was “beyond touched” that the library reached out to her to host the storytime.