For Pride, the Saint Paul Public Library is partnering with Flip Phone, the event organizers and promoters behind the area’s most fabulous events, for Drag Story Hour.
Drag Story Hour will take place as three events throughout June and July in which drag queens and drag kings read stories to children. But conservative commentators and “concerned” parents have been trolling the event, trying to get it canceled.
The three Drag Story Hour Events will feature two performers each — a drag queen and a drag king. The performers will read stories, sing and, according to the official statement, “strut their stuff for an over-the-top story hour.”
Chad Kampe, founder and director of Flip Phone, says, “Drag pushes people to break boundaries and explore creativity. At a very young age, we are taught to embrace our differences. Drag not only provides an opportunity to embrace who we are, it allows for us to broadcast and share who we are with the world.”
Unfortunately, however, right-wing trolls have never particularly liked the idea of LGBTQ people embracing our differences or sharing who we are. Notorious right-wing site World Net Daily has accused the library of “attempting to indoctrinate children,” due to the “heavy emphasis on drag culture.”
Drag Story Hour is part of the Saint Paul Public Library’s “We Belong Together” initiative for Pride. In addition to information about the story hour events, the library’s sub-site features a list of LGBTQ-themed children’s books for kids aged 0-6 and a “primer on drag culture,” directed at adults. The primer drew particular criticism from the right-wing because they disingenuously described it as a “recommended reading” list and implied that it was for children.
Now the Drag Story Hour organizers are working to make their true intentions known. Kampe tells Hornet, “We’re excited to share the magic experience of drag with kids and families in the Twin Cities. All the haters show that this programming is necessary. So, with all this attention, we’re excited to get even more support from the people who want to show their love for drag performers.”
Drag king Damien D’Luxe will be appearing at the July event.
D’Luxe tells Hornet why events like Drag Story Hour are so important: “I have been performing in drag for 15 years, and it’s been a powerful part of my life to help me with my gender expression. I identify as a non-binary individual, and drag has allowed me to be comfortable in my own skin. I find it so important that people of all ages know that it is OK to be who you are and to love yourself no matter if you fit into the expectation of gender norms. I only wish there was something like this for me when I was growing up.”
If you’re in the Saint Paul area, the three Drag Story Hour events are taking place June 11 at the Rondo library (with Utica and Sasha Cassadine), June 16 at the Riverview library (with Blaze Bordeaux and Fiona Fierce) and on July 11 at the George Latimer Central library (with Anya DeGrant and Damien D’Luxe).
And if you’re not in Minnesota but want to watch, the June 11 event will be livestreamed on the Saint Paul Public Library Facebook page.
Have you ever been to a Drag Story Hour type of event? Let us know in the comments.
Featured image of Miss Gretta at a similar event in Madison, Wisconsin by Bridget Bowden/Wisconsin Public Radio