U.S. Air Forces in Europe planned to host ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’ for children of military families

Fury after U.S. Air Forces in Europe headquarters planned to host ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’ for children of military families as part of local pride month celebrations

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A U.S. Air Force base in Europe has canceled a ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’ it planned to host for children of military families after a Republican senator critised the event.

Ramstein Air Base, the headquarters of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and the largest American air base in Germany, was due to hold the 30-minute story time at an on-base library on June 2.

A Facebook event, which has since been deleted, revealed that the session would include a special guest reader, local drag queen Stacey Teed, and celebrate Pride Month. 

The post read: ‘We’re celebrating Pride Month at the Ramstein Library with Drag Queen Storytime! 

‘Join us with special guest reader Stacey Teed! Be sure to wear your brightest and most colorful outfits!’

However, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) condemned the event and wrote to U.S. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall on May 27.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) condemned the event and wrote to U.S. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall on May 27

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) condemned the event and wrote to U.S. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall on May 27

The letter read: ‘I urge you to immediately cancel this politically divisive event, and take appropriate disciplinary action against all involved in allowing this gross abuse of taxpayer funding to place children in a sexualized environment. 

‘As I hope you can agree, decisions over children and their bodies should be left to moms and dads serving our nation, not mediated through publicly funded propaganda on U.S. Air Force bases. 

‘The last thing parents serving their nation overseas should be worried about, particularly in a theater with heightened geopolitical tensions, is whether their children are being exposed to sexually charged content simply because they visited their local library.’ 

In response to the backlash, Natalie Ricketts, Supervisor at U.S. Air Force Reserve, created a Change.org petition called ‘Can’t Cancel Pride’, which has received more than 332 signatures to date.

Ramstein Air Base, the headquarters of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and the largest American air base in Germany, was due to hold the 30-minute story time at an on-base library on June 2

Ramstein Air Base, the headquarters of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and the largest American air base in Germany, was due to hold the 30-minute story time at an on-base library on June 2

A Facebook event, which has since been deleted, revealed that the session would include a special guest reader, local drag queen Stacey Teed, and celebrate Pride Month

A Facebook event, which has since been deleted, revealed that the session would include a special guest reader, local drag queen Stacey Teed, and celebrate Pride Month

The petition says: ‘It’s story time, not RuPaul’s Drag Race. Stacey Teed isn’t a sexualized name, nor would they wear the same clothes they would for a show.

‘Now more then ever we need to show our support to our enlisted members and spouses in the face of blatant discrimination. Some of the queens are service members.’

Lt. Col. Will Powell, chief of public affairs for the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein, told The Military Times: ‘An advertisement was posted to the base library social media page before the event had completed Ramstein’s established processes for special observance coordination and approval. 

‘The advertisement has been removed and the event will not take place. 

‘The base’s established processes will ensure all future special observance events are properly reviewed and approved prior to advertisement. 

‘Ramstein leaders continue to support LGBTQ+ related events, and coordinators are currently in the process of planning other Pride events for June.’

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