Aida H Dee has hit back at gender-critical and anti-drag campaigners who have defaced Drag Queen Story Hour posters at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and claim to be planning to protest the performance.
The drag queen, who is a children’s author and the founder of Drag Queen Story Hour, is set to perform at the world famous arts and culture festival in Edinburgh from Thursday (3 August) until 27 August.
The show, aimed at families with children aged three and older, is described as a “journey through a magical world of colourful characters” which will “make smiles wrap around faces”, and includes “hilarious antics that will leave everyone in stitches” and “a drag queen that just cannot remember where she placed her spare wig”.
On Tuesday, Aida H Dee shared an image on Twitter which showed a promotional poster defaced with a sticker which reads “misogyny present”.
“The [Edinburgh Fringe] hasn’t even started yet and @DragStoryHourUK posters are already being defaced! There’s a protest on the 3rd with reports of 300 attendees ‘peacefully’ making a blockade to prevent people from entering,” the drag performer wrote.
This is not the first time Drag Queen Story Hour has been at the centre of bigots’ ire, with Aida H Dee facing death threats, previous protests and has had events cancelled for reading stories to children.
Speaking with PinkNews, the drag queen said the idea that 300 people want to protest the show is “heartbreaking” but stood firm that it will go ahead despite the backlash, saying: “Aida H Dee didn’t get where she is by backing down from adversity”.
“Isn’t it fascinating?,” she said, “Here I am, a drag queen, a celebration of gender fluidity and expression and I am being labelled as misogynistic?”
The performer continued: “I am here to celebrate every shade of femininity and not to diminish it. I embrace the power of femininity and elevate it.
“I am giving it centre stage and I wouldn’t want anyone to mistake my theatrics for disrespect.”
“I’m not going anywhere”
She also added that describing her as misogynistic is not just “wrong” but as “it’s about as far from the truth as you can get”.
Commenting directly on the alleged 300 people who are claiming they will come to Edinburgh to protest the show, Aida said they are “misguided” and their views are “born out of a misunderstanding and fear”.
“What I say, to these people, is let the protests come. Let them come, let them cover my posters up if that’s what they feel they need to do but I’m not going anywhere.
“This show will go up and continue to be proud, fabulous, defiant torch bearer of diversity and love.”
A spokesperson for Assembly Festival, which is presenting the show, said: “Assembly Festival takes the safety of its audiences, staff, and performers very seriously and works closely with the local authority and other governing bodies to ensure that safeguarding processes are closely followed.
“We are in constant communication with key stakeholders to ensure the safety and success of Drag Queen Story Hour’s season at Assembly Festival.The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is built upon the principles of open access and freedom of expression, and the Assembly Festival programme is carefully curated in the spirit of these values.”
They added: “Assembly has presented a popular and varied programme at the Fringe for over 40 years and offers a wide choice of family friendly entertainment.
“We respect the right of audiences to make their own individual choice when booking tickets, and hope that there is something in our programme for all to enjoy.”
PinkNews has contacted the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for comment.
Drag Queen Story Hour at the Edinburgh Fringe will take place between 3 and 27 August at Assembly Roxy.