MP Mhairi Black criticises online trolls for 'homophobic' response to drag queen's school visit

Sarah Young
SNP MP Mhairi Black speaks during a protest in George Square, Glasgow: PA

Mhairi Black has criticised online trolls over their “homophobic” response to a drag queen being invited to a primary school.

On Thursday, the SNP politician, who became the youngest MP since the 17th century in 2015, visited Glencoats Primary School in her constituency alongside a local drag performer who uses the stage name “Flowjob”.

The pair were invited to the school to mark LGBT History Month by reading stories to the children and discussing the Section 28 Act, which was introduced by Margaret Thatcher in 1988 to ban the "promotion of homosexuality" in schools.

However following the visit, the school, Black and the drag performer have all faced intense criticism from anti-LGBT campaigners online.

While the drag queen was introduced to the children simply as “Flow”, people online expressed their concerns after “inappropriate” images from the performer’s social media account were brought to parents' attention over the weekend.

“Thanks Flow” full name @flowjobqueen. Why would anyone think this is suitable for pre teens. It’s grooming,” one person tweeted.

Another added: “Their username is 'flowjobqueen' and their timeline is full of explicit images of them simulating sexual acts. Of course they've just done a drag queen story reading to primary school children.”

A third person agreed, commenting: “I wouldn’t tell a small child about drag acts at home. Why should it be imposed on children at school? Bad MP. Really BAD!”

Following the backlash against the trip, Black applauded the school for arranging a “great day” and hit out at critics for being homophobic.

“If my school had invited a gay MP and a drag queen to visit during LGBT History Month, or even acknowledged that LGBT History Month existed, it would have made an immeasurable difference to the difficult childhoods my LGBT classmates and I had,” Black wrote on Twitter.

“Yet so many people in my mentions want acknowledgment of LGBT people shut down because you still think there’a something inappropriate in our existence. You’re willing to see another generation of LGBT people growing up believing that who they are should be hidden away.”

She continued: “You just know that the people pretending to be livid that a drag queen read a book in a school in my mentions rn are also the people who run out to buy their kids the latest Grand Theft Auto on release day. Your homophobia is transparent. [sic]"

Flow also responded to the criticism on Twitter, saying: “Yes ‘Flowjob’ is my stage name, but I was introduced as ‘Flow’ and I’ll have you know when the children were asked what they wanted at LGBT+ History Month, the first thing they wanted was a ‘drag queen’.”

The perfomer added: “It was amazing to see what the kids have learned, we live in a time where kids will be going to school with two mums/dads or LGBT+ family, we are showing them that it’s normal.

“Seeing how much the kids loved it honestly is worth all this online abuse, if we can teach them now it means stuff like this won’t happen to them when they are older.”

LGBT Youth Scotland, a national charity for LGBT young people, also weighed in on the criticism, writing: “We’re horrified to see the abusive messages and tweets targeting Glencoats Primary School for their bold and brilliant LGBT+ inclusive education practices.

“We are proud to work with their pioneering headteacher, and recognise the school as an example to others across the country.”

Despite the overwhelming support from members of the LGBT community, Renfrewshire Council has issued a formal apology to parents and confirmed that it is investigating the visit.

"All school visits are arranged and managed with the wellbeing of pupils first and foremost," a spokesperson said.

"However it is clear in this case, the social media content associated with the speaker's stage persona is not appropriate for children and had we been aware of this, the visit would not have been arranged.

“We are sorry for the concern this has caused and are investigating.”

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