Gendersaurus Rex: Government Targets Preschoolers With Lessons on 'Sexuality, Queerness and Difference'

Scottish preschoolers are being encouraged to explore LGBT issues.
Scottish preschoolers are being encouraged to explore LGBT issues. (Flickr/Andrew Dawes)

Scottish kids are being encouraged to explore "queerness" and question whether they are a boy or a girl, in a project paid for by taxpayers.

"Gendersaurus Rex" is an "artistic research project" exploring how "gender, feminism, sexuality, queerness and difference" can be incorporated into live performance for children.

It was commissioned by Imaginate, a performing arts group that is subsidized by the Scottish government and the European Union.

According to its website, Imaginate "works in partnership with schools, local authorities and Education Scotland to support pupils, teachers and other educators' creative development."

The project is being led by controversial performance artist Eilidh MacAskill, who believes that "patriarchy" and "heteronormativity" are "destroying children's lives." She works with children between the ages of 2 and 5.

In an article explaining Gendersaurus Rex, she states: "It's about making work that can speak directly to the gender-variant child, the queer child, the homosexual child, the cis-gendered child who might feel constrained by the expectations inherent in being a girl or a boy.

"It's about using the power of art as a place to question, subvert, hide from, muddy, invert and take refuge from the oppression of everyday life."

MacAskill argues that "the norm is patriarchal, sexist, white and body-conformist" and calls for "some diversity," complaining that there is a lack of "non-heteronormative lives in our children's theater."

She asks: "What do we mean by queer? How do we talk about queerness outside of sexuality? How do we talk about sexuality and children in the same breath without being accused of summoning the specter of pedophilia?"

On hearing about the project, one parent told the Daily Express: "The very idea that someone can access my child to put these ideas into their heads is frankly horrifying.

"I absolutely object to this, and the fact that the public is funding it is sickening."

The Scottish government denies that it is funding the project. However, the Imaginate website states that the Scottish government is one of its major funders.

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