The city council is sponsoring a five day drag camp which offers 14-year-olds the opportunity to become “divas”.

Oxford City Council is supporting a week long “Drag Camp” which offers 14 to 18 year olds the chance to “create their own daring stage persona”.

The camp, which starts on Monday on Magdalen Road, will be run by T(ART) Productions, which is a queer not for profit community events company, alongside Pegasus theatre group and Doris Field Charitable Trust.

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Oxford Mail: Drag Camp posterDrag Camp poster (Image: T(art) Productions)

The company promises to help children find their “drag voice” and to introduce them to the “world of drag as a performance art”.

Stephanie Davies-Arai of Transgender Trend told the Daily Mail said: “Why is Oxford City Council encouraging children to participate in the world of adult entertainment?

“The aim of queer activists is clear in the blurb: to subvert and destabilise boundaries, under the guise of being empowering for children.

“Encouraging children to create a 'daring' stage persona means only one thing in the drag world: to push sexual boundaries.

“Blurring the boundaries between adult and child in this way is a safeguarding red flag.”

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Oxfordshire County Council previously caused controversy when it supported drag queens hosting a story hour event for children in Oxfordshire libraries. 

In the blurb for the drag camp, it is said: “No previous experience in performance, makeup, or costuming?

"No problem!

“This course is for everyone, including all genders, and is a space to explore self-expression.

“You'll dive into the history of drag and learn about this dynamic, boundary-pushing art form that's taking the world by storm.”

Ajaz Rehman, the city council's cabinet member for inclusive communities, said: “Our Community Impact Fund grants support a wide range of activities, including activities for young people during the summer holidays, and they aim to offer opportunities that provide something for everyone.

'The drag week application went through a scrutiny process, like all applications, and is suitable for a youth audience.

“It is a professional performance training opportunity for young people with an interest in drama and stage work and offers an inclusive activity that is open to all young people, not only LGBT youth, but places are limited.”

It comes after police and security guards were forced to limit access to the Oxfordshire County Library in the Westgate Centre last August after a protest, and counter protest, relating to a drag queen storytelling event aimed at children took over the area.

The library hosted Drag Queen Story Hour, a storytelling event for children aged between three and eight lead by drag performer Aida H Dee.

Oxford Mail:

Around 20 demonstrators held a large banner which read “groomers welcome”, shouted “shame” at the counter protesters and said the event was for “paedophiles and groomers”.

Protest organiser Firas Movdad said he organised the demonstration because “children need to be protected” from such events.

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