Drag Queen turned away from performing at after-school program in New Jersey


Philadelphia drag queen legend Martha Graham Cracker was originally asked to read to young children at an after school program by the school’s supervisor, but was then turned away. 

Supervisor for Haddonfield Child Care in New Jersey, Mark Simmons, reached out to Cracker in an email, thinking she would be great for an after-school program called “Read Across America,” a series in tribute to Dr. Seuss.

Simmons wanted Cracker to read a book of her choice from Seuss and sing a song or two for the children, who are aged between kindergarten up to 5th grade. 

Simmons said he wanted to “add a bit of variety” to their program, which usually asks local authors or politicians to come and read to the kids.

Once Simmons asked Cracker, the whole idea was deemed inappropriate. “I’m in a bit of a quandary here,” Simmons wrote back in response to the after-school program officials. “I’m being told by some of my superiors in this organization that this guest choice is inappropriate. I cannot, however, get any of them to tell me why or how Martha Graham Cracker reading Dr. Seuss to our after-school program is inappropriate.”

Cracker has performed for a young audience before at the famous Philadelphia Museum of Art.

After Cracker was turned away, Simmons still tried to incorporate her into the program. He suggested that students could take home a note and ask their parents to sign their consent to have Cracker perform, but this idea was also turned down. 

Simmons said, “I have been given an official ‘no’ as far as bringing in Martha, and have been told not to send my letters to the parents.”

Simmons stated that he told other supervisors in an attempt to have Crackers perform, “I think that this unique mix of costumed characters shows a wide variety of careers and personalities and fits in with our lessons of being accepting to everybody and all lifestyles.”

429Magazine has contacted Haddonfield Child Care for a quote but has yet to hear back. 

But Martha Graham Cracker has been invited to read Dr. Seuss to kids at the Christ Neighborhood Church on Sun., March 3 at 2 p.m. 

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