University of Arizona prof performs drag for kids

Prof Kornstein goes by the stage name “‘Lil Miss Hot Mess."

On Mar. 11, Harris Kornstein, Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona’s Institute for LGBTQ+ Studies, performed drag for children at Cheer up Charlies, a Texas gay bar. 

The event included numerous “Dragtivities” including story readings, crafts, performances, and gift shopping. 

The performance was hosted by drag queen Brigitte Bandit and Drag Story Hour, an organization that regularly hosts drag queen “storytellers” that use “the art of drag to read books to kids in libraries, schools, and bookstores.” 

According to Drag Story Hour’s website, it “captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models.” 

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Kornstein, who goes by the stage name “‘Lil Miss Hot Mess,” announced that he would be performing at the Texas drag event targeted at children on Mar. 8 via Instagram. He claims to be a professor by day and drag queen by night, using “she/her” pronouns in his drag alter-ego’s Instagram bio.  

Kornstein has a history with child drag shows has previously been the subject of criticism for several children’s books he’s written. These include “The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish” and “If You’re a Drag Queen and You Know It.” 

On July 7, 2022, Kornstein published a Huffpost editorial in which he stated that “[f]or more than five years, I’ve been reading to children in libraries, bookstores, and beyond as part of Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH), a unique organization that promotes reading through the magic of drag.” 

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In the op-ed, Kornstein claims that at book-signing events he invites “kids and their caregivers to try on some of the things queens are known for: swishing their hips, snapping their fingers and shouting, ‘Yesss, queen!’” 

Campus Reform contacted every university, organization, and individual mentioned. This article will be updated accordingly 

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