asu professor
Meet The ASU Professor Behind Arizona’s Drag Queen Story Hour

September 23, 2023

By Corinne Murdock |

The controversial Drag Story Hour Arizona is led by an Arizona State University (ASU) professor David Boyles.

Boyles established Drag Story Hour Arizona in 2019, a chapter of the national Drag Story Hour organization established in 2015, the same year that the Supreme Court struck down state laws banning gay marriage. 

For his drag queen story hour work, Boyles has been featured in several “The Art of Drag” events alongside one of his drag queen storytellers, hosted by various local libraries and Arizona Humanities, a nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) United We Stand initiative.

The most recent event occurred on Wednesday. In his presentation, Boyles said that the notion that drag shows are harmful to children was a “myth.” He also said that drag queens have been long considered the leaders of LGBTQ+ communities. 

In a predictor of what’s to come, Boyles said that the growing acceptance of LGBTQ+ ideologies would allow for more expansive public displays of drag. Boyles cited “Divine” as an example, a drag queen who starred in films purposefully designed to scare “straight society” — in one of his most infamous films, he ate dog poop (not a prop, real dog poop). Boyles hailed Divine as a paradigm.

“[His work was] intended to freak out the straight society in all meanings of that word, of the straights, both the heterosexuals but the squares,” said Boyles. “As queer identity and queer culture becomes more mainstream, kind of comes out of the shadows again, it opens up space for drag to take a lot of different shapes in a lot of different forms.”

Boyles then promoted the practice of drag in minors, referencing 13-year-old Canadian boy Bracken Hanke, who starred for several years in the Disney series “Gabby Duran & The Unsittables.” Boyles said that Hanke should be seen as an authority on valid perspectives of femininity, claiming Hanke is a girl.

“Who better to make fun of all the ideas of femininity than a teenage girl, you know, who has to deal with all these social pressures,” said Boyles.

At one point, Boyles’ counterpart for the event, Patrick Jervis-Stone as his drag queen persona, Felicia Minor, mentioned that Drag Queen Story Hour Arizona did a virtual story hour for Disney during the pandemic. However, Jervis-Stone stopped short of offering further details after Boyles whispered to Jervis-Stone that they “weren’t supposed to mention that.”

According to social media posts, Jervis-Stone conducted a Halloween-themed Drag Queen Story Hour Arizona virtual storytelling event for Disney+ and Hulu in October 2021. 

Boyles also dismissed the idea that educators were attempting to recruit students into homosexuality. Boyles describes himself as the “head of recruitment” for “The Queer Agenda” on his Instagram.

It was with his book, “Life is a Banquet,” that Chandler Unified School District board member and Boyles’ friend, Patti Serrano, took her oath of office, rather than the Bible. Boyles’ book focuses on a 17-year-old boy being “indoctrinated” and “radicalized” into progressive beliefs by ASU students out of the values he’d learned from his conservative, Christian parents.

In book drafts posted online, Boyles writes at length about the sexual experiences and fantasies of the boy and his peers.

In another blog post, Boyles said Serrano’s act reminded him of when God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac in the Bible. Boyles said that Christian parents resembled Abraham: their obedience to God by refusing to affirm LGBTQ+ behaviors in their children jeopardizes their children’s lives, not unlike how Abraham’s obedience to God jeopardized Isaac’s life. Boyles also accused Christians of viewing their children as “property” through their faith, and declared that every transgender suicide constitutes murder.

“[I]n this story of the original patriarch, we get an almost too on-the-nose description of the toxic patriarchal ideas that infect so much of modern right-wing religion, and white evangelical Christianity in particular,” said Boyles. “If your god is telling you that honoring him is worth slitting kids’ throats, do what Abraham should have done and tell him to f**k off and find a new god.”

Elsewhere on his blog, Boyles encouraged people to advocate for LGBTQ+-inclusive, pleasure-centered sex education for minors. 

“[A]busive, patriarchal fundamentalists […] fear the liberatory power of queer sexuality,” wrote Boyles.

Boyles also encouraged people to plant pornographic LGBTQ+ banned books in local libraries, such as “Gender Queer” and “All Boys Aren’t Blue.”

*Warning: the following clip contains explicit sexual language*

Boyles noted in a post that “zines” — noncommercial, self-published, and often unconventional magazines produced at home or online, usually reproduced via copy machines — are an essential component of promulgating LGBTQ+ ideologies. 

Several of Boyles’ students were promoted in his Substack for their zines. He recommended a zine on sex toys by one of his former students, Paige Daniel, an “abortion doula” for Planned Parenthood Arizona (PPAZ); Daniel’s other zines discuss sex education and self-managed abortions. 

Boyles promoted a popular zine distributor (distro) among Phoenician progressives, Wasted Ink Zine Distro (WIZD), host of the annual Phoenix Zine Fest. The distro specializes in promoting “historically marginalized creators,” specifically the non-white, LGBTQ+, disabled, chronically ill, or neurodivergent. WIZD receives funding from the city of Phoenix’s Office of Arts and Culture, as well as the Arizona Commission on the Arts through the state and National Endowment for the Arts.

Haley Orion — known online as Arizona Right Wing Watch, an account that posts research on “far-right losers and hate politics” — formerly worked for and published her own zines through WIZD.

Orion recently took issue with the fallout prompted by a post issued by her equal opposite, Chaya Raichik of Libs of TikTok, about the University of Arizona nursing students course engaging with children as young as three about gender identity.

Like Orion, Boyles advocates for other progressive causes in addition to LGBTQ+ issues, such as abortion, gun control, climate change activism, police defunding, and Black Lives Matter (BLM). He formerly served as a board member for NARAL Arizona and the Abortion Fund of Arizona, as well as a research coordinator for White Hat Research & Policy Group.

On his public Instagram page, Boyles posts LGBTQ+ content consisting of gay erotica art, his cross-dressing, drag queens, paganism, witchcraft, advocacy for gender transitions for minors, sex toys, drugs, criticisms of Republicans, and arguments against Christianity.

In a February opinion piece, Boyles declared that LGBTQ+ storytelling to minors was important to “counter the erasure of queer stories.” Boyles also advocated for minors to attend drag shows. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

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