Drag Queen Story Hour: Why Outrageously-Dressed Adults Are Reading Stories To Children At Public Libraries

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald December 23, 04:00 am
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Washington DC: Crowds cheer on annual drag queen race
Public libraries in New York and San Francisco hold the Drag Queen Story Hour with fellows that look like these ladies.
(Photo : Santiago Felipe/Getty Images for RuPaul's Drag Race )

One can expect an outrageously-dressed adult on the center stage or at a fancy bar, while performing to the delight of the audience. But when a drag queen is among children reading story books at a local library, it's likely going to draw questionable looks from others.

This is precisely the reason why libraries across America are hosting a Drag Queen Story Hour, where the children's storyteller is a man wearing fabulous dresses, big-haired wigs and full make-up. The movement hopes to teach children to develop gender sensitivities and learn that drag queens or queers are also accepted members of society. The idea is to teach children empathy, tolerance and acceptance for different people's orientation.

The Brooklyn Public Library has been hosting Drag Queen Story Hour every month and kids come to the event as their parents also sit with them. "I think it's really smart and necessary for us to show the next generation that people that are different from them, you shouldn't fear them," Merrie Cherry, a drag queen who has read to children, said, according to Scary Mommy.

The stories told to children for the Drag Queen Story Hour are usually fairy tales. Some books, however, are focused on gender issues and feminism such as the "Goddess Girls" series, according to Cosmopolitan.

Drag Queen Story Hour started at the San Francisco Library in December 2015. Apart from telling stories, the drag queens and the children also have a Q & A and face-painting session, according to San Francisco Gate. This interaction allows the children to comfortably ask the drag queens questions and talk about stuff that doesn't get covered in school or in their regular environment.

Succeeding Drag Queen Story Hour in San Francisco saw the kids also making an effort to dress up. "I appreciated how their parents allowed them to be creative and imaginative," drag queen Delgado Lopera said. "I'm really excited about parents supporting their kids."

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