Drag Queen Story Hour Continues Its Reign at Libraries, Despite Backlash

The events aimed at entertaining children have spread from cities like New York and San Francisco to more conservative towns, upsetting some people.

Comments: 165

  1. No group represents the fundamental freedoms of this country as much as Librarians.

  2. @Heidi You are SO RIGHT!

  3. @Heidi As a librarian, thank you!

  4. @Heidi --I understand why some may object to drag queens reading to children as pushing an agenda. Why not have readings by adults, or even teens inclusive of volunteers of all persuasions, ethnicity, etc. at the same session?

  5. I'm not sure why children at a story time group need to be schooled in the "diversity of experiences of Ohioans," or any other state. The book, and its content, should be the focus of attention, not drag queen performers.

  6. @Thomas Please share your opinion about why you're not sure. Let me start by saying IMHO that I think that it is a concept that was tried and gained popularity. Had it not, it would have faded. Folks have the right to choose to attend or not attend. Parents have the right to determine what experiences they wish to share with their children.

  7. @Thomas It is not the role of the library system to shelter children from American culture wars.

  8. @Thomas "I'm not sure why children at a story time group need to be schooled in the "diversity of experiences of Ohioans," or any other state." How about so they don't grow up to be hateful tools that are so closed-minded and fearful that they have to violently protest and threaten bodily harm (and often carry out those threats!) to anyone that isn't exactly like them?

  9. Drag Queen story time has proved popular in Queens (!), with City Council Member Jimmy van Bramer co-hosting one in Astoria. Who better than a queen to share fairy tales and more to an appreciative audience. Brava to the divas who unleash children's imaginations!

  10. If you are opposed to Drag Queen Story Time, don't send your kids to it. It's as simple as that.

  11. @BA Yep. I wouldn't take my kid to a Drag Queen Story Time, but if others want to - go ahead!

  12. @BA the problem is that in some places kids are being brought to the drag queen reading hour without parents' permission...fyi

  13. @Wesley Why not? I'm just curious.

  14. Do the children know what a drag queen is? Or do they think they're being entertained by straight women who have a deep voice and wear heavy makeup and stilettos?

  15. @Kat Children don't judge. They accept.

  16. @Patty deVille Or they ask questions. At the Provincetown pride parade, my 8-year-old daughter watched drag queen after drag queen go by and eventually said "I don't get it. Are they making fun of women?" The short answer is no...but that's a nuanced question, especially when you're trying to raise a girl. Grownups shouldn't be so quick to assume that kids are just accepting everything without confusion or questions. For what it's worth, my kid has a trans grandparent.

  17. @Patty deVille I remember lots of intensely judgmental little (and older, of course) children from my childhood - as do many of my peers. I don't know where the sentimentalization of children has its roots, but it's not founded in reality.

  18. Little kids love make-believe and dress up. From a kid's perspective, this is just adults in fairy tale dresses being silly as they read bedtime stories, act over-the-top dramatic, and dance the Hokey Pokey! (A lot like many cartoon characters on kid's TV.) As a kid who didn't care much for circus clowns because of the loud noises, I think I would have found the drag queens less scary and more entertaining. And it sounds like the protestors are truly creating a threatening atmosphere for little kids. What long term effect do the protestors think that screaming, yelling, displaying angry posters, and flashing firearms are going to have on kids? Seriously, people. Men in long garments are so wicked I'm going to terrify children by screaming insults and waving a loaded gun? The events are in libraries, and the parents are there! Anyone who doesn't want their kids to participate can leave! Truly, I don't understand the mentality of people who are obsessed with demonstrating fury and rage.

  19. This is great!!! Drag has a long history and if it wasn't a happy wonderful fun thing, it wouldn't have lasted. I have to find the nearest public library that hosts a drag storytime and borrow a kid to get me in. Public libraries are perhaps the staunchest protectors of free expression that we have remaining in this country. We are fortunate to still have them.

  20. I live within driving distance of two great libraries. (Great in terms of service & dedication of their staff, not physical library size) The libraries have all kinds of events from a knitting group meeting to toddler story time and other stuff. One of the libraries has a mystery book club that reads a mystery book and meets to discuss it each month. I don’t much like mysteries. So here’s what I do: I don’t go to the event. I know, it’s radical.

  21. Protesters are bullying. I hope their nonsense is used as part of an anti-bullying book reading.

  22. @Patty deVille Would you say the same thing about Left wing protestors?

  23. That depends.

  24. @Mystery Lits Uh, left wing protesters aren't bullies.

  25. The way I see it: I don't like right-wing, fascist events SO I don't go. I think Drag Queen Story Time is fun and informative SO I will go. Both events are constitutionally covered by the freedom of speech. We can choose to attend or not to attend.

  26. I pity anyone who would actually get upset by this. About twenty years ago we had our son at a hockey tournament where there was a drag queen convention in the same hotel. The kids were absolutely fascinated and the drag queens entertained them and befriended them.

  27. @Maureen That sounds awesome!

  28. I was at a conference of Orthodox Jewish scientists that was held on one side of a hotel while on the other side of the hotel held a conference of LGBTQ people fighting drug and alcohol dependency. I made a wrong turn on the way to the restroom and encountered a man dressed in drag. He was far more welcoming to me than the participants in my conference would have been to him.

  29. "Cats and drag" vs. babes and guns. My votes with Ms. Meow.

  30. I had never heard of this before but it delights me to know that it is a thing. What a silly, fun and great idea. Bravo. Go Queens. For those who don't like it, just stay home.

  31. To lash out at someone just because they're different then you shows a great deal of fear and hatred for no reason at all. Take the time to get to know someone before you condemn them.

  32. Bless these performers. Imagine the courage it takes to stand up to right-wing hatred and intolerance, and be your fabulous self. All they want to do is put on a good show and make children happy. I suspect that the rightists who hate this kind of thing are afraid that if they had a little fun, they might learn they're not as cishet as they think they are.

  33. In 20 years these now-grown kids will think kindly of drag queens because they were once read to by them. Brava!

  34. It goes without saying that parents should welcome opportunities to have their children experience story time presented by world class entertainers. What better way to encourage reading?

  35. I would've loved this when I was little! I remember my first exposure to a drag queen - I was probably 7, and my mother rented Hairspray by John Waters. Partway through, she told me Divine was a man, and I was so impressed. I also got it right away. I knew it was comedy, theatre, performance - and I appreciated it for being just that, as most kids would.

  36. We have this in St Louis. I take my grandson. It is great. It supports my values, which include reading to children. The drag queens are accepted by the children for the entertaining characters that they are. After the reading they do a craft, and then the children can get their pictures taken with the drag queens. My grandson beams. And, at my library, it is free!

  37. Kids tend to have terrific senses of humor, understand how fun it can be to dress up, and have love for anyone who will read them a story. Aren't love and kindness and acceptance the things we as adults are supposed to be teaching?

  38. @ksb36 Sadly, some adults would say "NO!"

  39. Please let us know who pays the cost of increased security at the local libraries? Do the performers? Do the counter protestors? With heightened security, including guards or even Sheriff departments assisting, these must be increasingly expensive readings.

  40. @N. Matthew Why do you suggest the counter-protesters and the performers but not the protesters themselves?

  41. Our local library holds a children's story hour hosted by a character dressed as Mother Goose, complete with a plush-toy goose in a handbasket for petting. During December, the costumed cast of Dickens' Christmas Carol drops in at the same library to sing Victorian holiday songs, with staff and patrons joining in. Clearly, the librarians' agenda is to teach children that (a) geese make safe pets that appreciate literature, and (b) hoop skirts and ghost outfits entitle you to violate library patrons' expectation of hushed propriety. Can't wait to add some drag queens to our fun!

  42. @Pam What's funny is that there could have been a man dressed up as Mother Goose to read nursery rhymes, and everyone would have taken it in the spirit of British panto. But a man in a fun, funny outfit dressed as a woman (because Mother Goose isn't a woman?) is a threat.

  43. This being America, eventually someone will be shot. And when it happens the haters will turn on a dime and say,"Those drag queens should have been armed." They know no shame. If on the other hand a drag queen leavingafter a performance discretely brandished a pearl handled revolver pulld from a Gucci clutch and whispered "Back off mister." to a particularly rabid hater, so that she might safely get into her car, the haters would exclaim "Oh the horror, she brought a weapon to the library." Face it, a working girl just can't win.

  44. We are experiencing backlash in our community outside of Philadelphia. Our Library Board and most of our township's commissioners (I am one of them) are publicly supporting the program (it was held with some success a year ago) in the face of a fairly well orchestrated email campaign in opposition to the Program. It has been civil. We have a Township Board meeting this Monday and the Event is next Saturday where we expect a significant group both for and against, but nothing too ugly is anticipated. I did get one email with graphic pictures of abortions and am still scratching my head over that one. Like so many writers here, my immediate reply to the opponents is simply "don't go." I'll report back and let you know how the township meeting went.

  45. I live in Cookeville. There were literally less than ten protesters outside of the last DQST. They put up a fuss about it being had at the library so it just got moved to a paid venue. Then it was private property and protesters couldn't barge into the facility like the first time. As for the argument that libraries are breeching public trust. There was just a White Nationalists rally at the UNIVERSITY OF TN a few weeks ago. When questioned, UT said.... "The university has a building use policy that allows non-affiliated organizations to rent space on campus, he said, and laws prevent the university from discriminating against groups based on their views." So you can't have it both ways, old white republican guys.

  46. @Lacy You sound like a resident who really knows the score.

  47. At story times, books need to be brought alive through performance. No one wants to be read a book in a monotonous voice that lacks energy and charisma. Who better to do that? (I'm not suggesting librarians are boring...I think librarians are the real rock stars.) In addition to children's story time, they need to host these events for adults who don't have children!

  48. I am a taxpayer who is absolutely interested in my hard-earned dollars being used to teach teenage boys how to become drag queens.

  49. @Bonnie Porter Have no fear. It's innate. YOu cannot teach boys to become drag queens. They must be wired long before birth to be a DQ. You could say it's God's will if you don't want to go into the science of how this may happen.

  50. @Bonnie Porter What makes you think your tax dollars are being used to teach teenage boys how to become drag queens? 1) these story time hosts are volunteers 2) they are reading picture books to young children It's a safe assumption that teenage boys are not hanging around the library to hear someone wearing sparkly clothing and too much makeup read "In the Night Kitchen" (or whatever picture book is in the rotation for that morning).

  51. @Bonnie Porter :)

  52. Why the backlash? If you really don't want your child read to by a drag queen, then don't take them to the library at that time. Like so many things that people get riled up against, just opt out. How hard is that?

  53. Speaker of the Ohio State House Larry Householder makes a familiar mistake when he voices fear that exposure to Drag Queens will “teach teenagers to be drag queens.” The inclination to cross dressing is innate and cannot be taught. I’ve seen drag queens since my teen years and have never had the slightest idea of wearing women’s clothes. I don’t like wearing them and no exposure to drag queens could ever make me like it. But his fears are well-founded. He is terrified that intolerance of gender bending will diminish, and the traditional world he loves will be allowed to become less strictly defined. This is exactly what is happening; and in libraries around the country children who are being taught that men who like to wear women’s clothes are fun, funny and smart are learning there is nothing to fear.

  54. I would wager that very few of the protestors either a) have books in their homes, or b) read to their children. Volunteer at your own local library if you're not happy with those who do! And, as a reminder, neither drag nor abortions are contagious. What are you so afraid of?

  55. @Froxgirl I totally agree: "neither drag nor abortions are contagious. What are you so afraid of?" are important points. There is a lot of disinformation out there which creates fear leading to reactionary behavior including the reported threats of violence. However, let's reconsider the use of divisive and stereotypical characteristics as in a and b. The polarization in our country is dangerous.

  56. @Froxgirl I disagree. I know many, many families who are regular library patrons, own hundreds of books, read to their children daily, and are adamantly opposed to Drag Queen Story Time. Part of the problem in America right now is the urge to dismiss the unfathomable other side as completely uneducated. Many of these people are reading to their children, they're just reading the Bible, literature from the 1950s, and heavily skewed history. They're not exactly dumb, but they are willfully insisting on living in a specific and narrow worldview. Oh the irony though, when you find a conservative reading Oscar Wilde to their children!

  57. @Monique: If you're adamantly opposed, don't go. It's not mandatory.

  58. We all come pre-programmed with acceptance. Hate has to be taught. I feel sorry for the children of the protestors.

  59. @Berlin Exile So, if someone doesn't fully accept someone else it's "hate"? Do you "hate" everyone in the world who has a different worldview and set of values than you do?

  60. Sorry! I assumed "he!" Make that "they," please with my apologies.

  61. Actually, I think he's saying the opposite.

  62. Good grief, I can't believe some people are so blinded by a set of a priori beliefs that they can understand that kids don't see these guys, in their outsized, parodying costumes, as anything but funny.

  63. Not all dress to be funny. Some try to be very feminine and appealing.

  64. @Reader In SC Yes, exactly the problem. I was married to an autogynephile, a man who was in love with himself, and turned on by himself, when he was dressing up as a woman. Part of being an autogynephile is that the person needs validation from others for his "femaleness." I have no doubt some of these so-called drag queens are of the same ilk, and using kids to validate themselves. Many of those enthusing over this are clueless.

  65. Is it the drag queens or the books and learning that most upset the protesters?

  66. @Philip Greider-what is the point of holding the bigoted opinion that people who do not agree with you must be ignorant?

  67. @Dan I don't-if someone has a nonbigoted reason for objecting to something. What is the point of protesting guys in dresses reading books to children?

  68. I can't believe this is the first time I've heard of this. Drag queens plus kids seems like a match made in heaven. Also, my guess is the protestors wouldn't bat an eye if the drag queen at the library was Milton Berle...or Rudolph Giuliani.

  69. I don't know what to say except that I sure wish there had been a Drag Queen Story Time at the library when I was a kid.

  70. I would've loved this too!

  71. As a book lover, I would love to have my kids hang around with someone named Unita Readmoore (see pic)

  72. So the man dressed as a woman is telling kids, "It's OK to be the way you are." Am I the only one who sees the hypocrisy here?

  73. @Uncommon Wisdom: No hypocrisy. He's saying "it's okay to be a man dressed as a women." And frankly younger generations don't care about these issues like older people do. They're okay with people being gender fluid and expressing themselves in a variety of ways and not forcing themselves into boxes they feel are uncomfortable for who they are.

  74. @Anne Dressing like the opposite sex means that you are NOT comfortable with who you are. Also, both of these men are dressed as highly sexualized women in short, skintight skirts. This isn't the image most women wish to convey about themselves.

  75. @Uncommon Wisdom, you don't seem to understand that who they are is men that enjoy dressing in these particular clothes. How the average woman dresses is completely irrelivant.

  76. If they had clowns reading books to children,I'm guessing that Mr. Householder would be afraid the teenage boys would grow up to be clowns?

  77. @Philip. Clowns? Now THERE’S a creepy, scary thought of someone around my kids. But hey, if my kids don’t find clowns as creepy as I do, they are welcome to go enjoy them, especially if the clowns are encouraging them to read. As long as it’s in public.

  78. Don't be hating on clowns. They have an important role in history and in fostering children's imagination. The attire does not delineate male or female stereotypes.

  79. The ultimate aim of all education is the pursuit and revelation of the Truth. That men are not women is why we are all here. Not a single one of us could be here now if men had not been men, women had not been women. This attempt by supposedly wiser adults to deceive supposedly less wise children is not something which anyone - adults or children - should be giggling about.

  80. Just like we deceive children there are giant mice and ducks dressed in human clothes in the world?

  81. @Graham: The Truth is that people are different and express themselves in different ways. And that's okay. (And Jesus would still love them, too, if that's part of your cosmology.)

  82. @Graham It would be nice if the aim of all education were really the pursuit and revelation of truth. However, this is most cerainly not so when education becomes indoctrination into the biases and prejudices of hateful adults who teach children to hate folks different from themselves. Men are men and women are women. It is also true that some men love other men and some women love other women. (Others are bi-sexual - it might be said they have twice the fun.)

  83. I think its sad to see drag queens turn into children's party clowns :( hard to believe they were once edgy.

  84. There are enough edgy queens in the world in and out of drag. Let’s not stereotype all drag queens in the world just coz you are used to seeing them in one way.

  85. So when liberal college kids try to shut down conservative speakers by protesting the events they are violating freedom of speech. But it's perfectly ok for conservatives to use the exact same tactics to shut down these events?

  86. @MattD. When liberal college kids protest bringing controversial speakers to campus, I don’t think that’s right, either. (But I’m in favor of letting kids dress up and see that some adults like it too, especially if it’s about encouraging reading, tolerance, and being exposed to “new” ideas which are actually quite common in the world outside your bubble. It’s not like anyone is suggesting leather and whips for children, and no, that is never going to come next. As someone else said, I’d much rather have story-telling drag queens around my kids than Catholic priests.) However, if a school has good reason to expect violence at a school event and they don’t have the resources for adequate security to prevent it, it is perfectly reasonable to decide not to hold the event.

  87. @Matt D No it's not right in either case. And those college kids aren't liberals they're leftists. If they were liberals they would respect other folks' right to speak. At this point it may be too late to reclaim the word "conservative" (sorry Andrew Sullivan) but, of course, a true conservative would also be ok with it. But you can't expect fascists to respect anybody's rights.

  88. You’re right, Jack, point taken.

  89. The irony! The very folk who have an issue with drag queens, have no issue with guys dressing up a Mickey Mouse or Aladdin to entertain their kids when on vacation at Disney. If anything, drag queens will inspire acceptance and a handful of folk to take up theatre (as was the case with me).

  90. Drag queens make fun of women by perpetuating exaggerated stereotypes. As far as I know the characters at Disney World aren’t making fun of anyone.

  91. @FM. No drag queen I know thinks they’re making fun of women. As a woman myself, I’ve never felt made fun of by drag queens. You are projecting.

  92. @FM Wow. So wrong. The Drag Queens I have known have always respected and honored women. Most are inspired by women they have known in their lives or famous women who are already "larger than life," like Cher, Bette Midler or Madonna. As a kid in the late 70's and 80's, growing up in New Orleans- I knew some Drag Performers in their everyday lives as professional men, a laywer, a doctor, some of them gay, some straight, some married with children. All of them "put their faces on" to celebrate womanhood or femininity- if even by exaggerating the fashion, the makeup and the movements of women- it was never to make fun of them. Even as a child, I recognized that this wasn't mean-spirited; I saw it the same as actors in the Theater, there to entertain, uplift, maybe enlighten.

  93. The backlash isn’t surprising...with progress backlash is a given...this is first and foremost entertaining for kids...entertainment that is unique and doesn’t pander to stereotypes...and the hope is that it will create memories that will expand kids’ world view...regardless of their sense of self

  94. In 1994 when "The Lion King" came out I took the opportunity to explain what "gay" was to my small children who loved the movie and went around singing the songs. I showed them pictures of Elton John all dressed up in his flamboyant costumes and told them he had written the music they loved and he was gay. Their reaction was "how cool"! It had the effect of taking the stigma away from a word they had heard among peers which was considered negative. They then told friends who said "you're so gay" as a pejorative about Elton. I hope it changed a couple of minds.

  95. @Jeanne DePasquale Perez: Yes. When my 6-year-old nephew asked what 'gay' meant (and when my sister looked ill-at-ease), I said it's when men date or love other men or when women date or love other women. And he said, "Oh, okay" and went back to playing with his Legos.

  96. @Anne, same here. I had the same experience with my parents in the 60s after a gay couple had bought a house and moved in a few doors down. Back then, the word gay wasn't used as far as I know. The ladies were described as 'lesbian' and that was that. I was a little kid and just accepted it.

  97. This looks like so much fun! I'd rather see kids be exposed to drag queens than military personnel. The former will do more for their creative energies.

  98. Look, I'm a liberal. ... Parents bring their kids to these??

  99. I’m the author-illustrator of the book NEITHER (mentioned in this article). Some people are afraid of the gender-creative aspect of drag, and that’s exactly why we need Drag Queen Story Hour. I think anyone who attends a Story Hour for more than five minutes will see that it’s in the spirit of fun and acceptance. I’ve heard it said that drag is “adult entertainment” and not for children, but isn’t it true that we all contain multitudes? DQSH is innocent entertainment intended for and appropriate for children. What if Robin Williams (may he rest in peace) were hosting a storytime at your local library? Would there be protests because his night-time stand-up routine was full of innuendo? No, because he appeared to fit into the hetero-normative standard. The message of NEITHER is that not fitting into categories (or fitting into several at once) is ok, and I’m honored that it has a place at Drag Queen Story Hour. They are amplifying that message in the most fabulous and colorful way imaginable.

  100. My thought is if you don't like Drag Queen Story Hour then stay home. How ridiculous, nothing says you or your kids have to attend. Keep up the good fight Queens, especially in those small towns that need you.

  101. Unita Readmore is an excellent drag name.

  102. @Annie One of my favorite drag names is Tequila Mockingbird.

  103. The Christian Taliban strikes again. Mind your own business, folks. This is very sweet, and a great treat for kids. Seriously.

  104. @Frank The awful state of maternal care in the US does far more harm to women and children than listening to story read by a person in fabulous attire ever could. Seriously, you have the highest maternal death rate of any western democracy, and the only places where pregnancy related deaths are going up are in the US. (I'm looking at you, Texas.) I think that's causing american women more angst than drag queens.

  105. If you don't like Drag Queen Story time then its simple-JUST DON'T ATTEND!

  106. Queens of Literacy!

  107. You go ladies ! This is hysterical ! Lol

  108. "Conservatives" love to blabber about freedom. Until someone exercises freedom in a way they don't like. Then it is freedom over!!!! Typical.

  109. @Will. Complaining about drag queens reading to kids while the NRA blows kids to smithereens and that's ok.

  110. Speaker Larry Householder: “....teach teenage boys how to become drag queens.” An utterly stupid statement on so many levels.

  111. Add Palm Springs to that list. We have Bella da Ball reading to the kids here. God save the Queen(s)!!!

  112. The Drag Queen Story Hour should honestly call itself "Teach Children to Celebrate Drag Queens Hour," and drop the pretense that it's about promoting reading among children. (As these men were incapable of reading a story while not in drag?) But of course, such clarity would put the lie to the charge of "hate" being thrown at those parents who would prefer that their children not be indoctrinated into the idea that boys can be girls (and vice versa), that biology is irrelevant, that gender is a social construct that is chosen, etc. This is one of those now ubiquitous examples of progressives' tactic, "celebrate me or else!"

  113. @Livonian The choice is simple. If you object - don't take your children to a joyous drag-filled event. No one is forcing parents to take them there. The fact that these events are obviously popular means there's a lot people who do enjoy it and appreciate the message it gives their children.

  114. Oh for goodness sakes. It is not "teaching drag." And even of it were, so what? It's not hurting anybody. Kids naturally play dress up all the time. Gimme a break. Why so uptight?

  115. @Livonian So typical. These folks are not saying "or else!" in any manner, shape or form. They're not objecting if some men want to come in and tell stories as manly men, dressed as construction workers or cowboys or whatever. They're doing what they want to do and they won't try to stop you if you choose to set a different example. But you want to stop them, while claiming to be somehow victimized. Pathetic.

  116. To quote Ru Paul, “We all come into this world naked, the rest is all drag” What a great way to teach children to accept the goodness inside of a person without judgment of their outer appearance.

  117. Next thing we know males will be identifying themselves as female and participating in girls sporting events. Or girls will be joining the Boy Scouts.

  118. @Steve yes, it will be chaos Steve. Some people won't even know who to sexually harass anymore! By the way, when you've finished wringing your hands and clutching your pearls, you might have time to do some research, when you could discover that drag queens are not transgender.

  119. @0sugarytreats Best reply by far! Thank you for keeping it real!

  120. You need to get out more. That's already happening. And SO WHAT? It is cool. Don't be so uptight.

  121. Coming soon to a library near you: Christian Story Hour - and if you don't agree with it, your children do not have to attend.

  122. @Dan: Please do look up the US Constitution's Establishment Clause, which keeps governments from sponsoring religion. Libraries are generally owned by local governments, so this would be unconstitutional. Luckily, Christians have perfectly lovely places to hold story hours. I believe they're called churches.

  123. I didn't read the article, only came for the comments. They haven't disappointed. Now where's my popcorn?

  124. @Rage Baby. The Queens have more integrity than Mitch McConnell and Shelley Silver. Shelley was seen hiding behind the stacks smirking.

  125. @Rage Baby I would suggest you pop some corn and go back and read the article. It's a fun article and much more interesting than reading about today's political scene!

  126. So have we completely forsaken the live and let live ethos? I would be fine if the drag queens came to my library and I would go to story hour. On the other hand, if people don’t want to go hear drag queens read, that’s fine too. Last time I checked, attendance at any story hour was not mandatory. Thankfully, the citizens in my town are very active at the library and there’s all sorts of stuff happening there.

  127. For what my identity is worth, I am a lesbian and a liberal. I object to drag queen story hours. Saying that some art is not appropriate for children should not be considered pearl clutching. Drag has historically been and continues to be an adult activity. Fun and creative, yes, but I cannot understand this sudden push to make Drag "kid friendly" through story hours and "child drag queens" like Desmond is Amazing. It is also interesting that the Houston library did not follow its own guidelines in not doing thorough background checks. All people who volunteer with children should be held to high safety standards. Just because someone is part of a certain community does not mean they are automatically a safe person.

  128. Why so uptight? The kids are enjoying themselves.

  129. The kids just see them as bright, colorful living cartoons. No different than clowns.

  130. @Rx I don't care about men wearing dresses and being over the top. More power to them. Like I said, drag is fun and creative but it is for adults and I don't understand the push to make it an activity for kids. I don't think it's uptight to ask why a library chose not to follow its own guidelines on background checks. Drag queens don't help kids accept same sex relationships, they help kids understand Drag Queens.

  131. The reason why kids go to drag queen story hour is truly because of the adults who take them there. The adults are really the ones who want to see the drag queens. Little kids have enough imagination on their own, whether or not a man is in a dress.

  132. @Step So what? Most parents decide where to take their kids and hope their kids will enjoy the experience.

  133. What is the point? Not everything is for children. Why is it so critical to try to get other people's children to endorse your lifestyle?

  134. @Lilo Kids love to play dress-up; what's so horrible about letting them know adults do, too?

  135. @Lilo: If we want a society of mutual acceptance - that is, one where people are able to work together, live peacefully as neighbors, etc. - then yes, we need to help all children learn that people of different races, ethnicities, gender identities etc. are all OK, and that all deserve respect and courtesy.

  136. In many areas, libraries are not well funded or staffed. Their staffs may not have the funds or time to develop programming. The drag queens come in with an activity that kids—with their natural love of make believe—enjoy. Not to mention that reading to kids builds their interest in reading. It seems like a win for everybody.

  137. If you don't want your kids to go to Drag Queen Story Hour, keep them home. What's the problem--that you might have to spend a whole hour a week with your own kids instead of expecting the library to babysit them?

  138. we wasn't raised that way, sorry girls.

  139. @Hector Guess what Hector? The "girls" couldn't care less how you were raised. Perhaps your parents or grandparents were raised not to socialize with members of other races.

  140. America, seriously???

  141. I would trust my kids with Drag Queens before Roman Catholic Priests and New York City cops who take 50 years to apologize to gay people.

  142. What prompts a man to dress and make himself up like a woman? The answer to this is importantly different from what prompts someone to dress up like Mickey Mouse. The act of dressing up as a drag queen has a psychological dimension and a cultural meaning that a six-year-old child is incapable of grasping. That means that children are being used as props for the furtherance of the agenda of normalization. This is not about teaching acceptance because the kids have no idea who these men are or what they are actually doing. And that's kind of cruel. The kids don't know what "way" the performers are, when they say they like them just that way. So why must they be drafted into the performance?

  143. @Mark Read this article again. Slowly - our society is large enough to accept everyone and differences should be valued not mocked or seen as threatening. And children should learn at an early age that acceptance of others different than you is what abates bullying asswipes who use every opportunity to belittle anyone who doesn't conform to their rules of "normal". That you want to see this as any opportunistic ploy as opposed to a dual opportunity to entertain children and foster a love of reading while teaching tolerance says a lot about you.

  144. @Mark Please stop projecting your own discomfort and confusion onto hypothetical children.

  145. So, you have a prejudice that children are too young to grasp. That is a good thing.

  146. The Mr. Rogers thing??? Oh honey, no one can ever replace Mr. Rogers!!

  147. If these were over the top, chew the scenery to a nub actors and not drag queens, would anyone even care?

  148. Drag queens rock! Stay strong, girls.

  149. Let's see if I can post the truth , or will some judgemental arbiter decide that political correctness in the form of civility should hide it. A few of the people I loved most in this World turned out to be homosexuals and I would abhor any harm or discrimination against anyone due to sexual orientation , race , religion , class , or any definition , but the activism of this small minority has already removed most , or all of the legislated harms in our Country and morphed instead into affecting moral institutions and practice for the majority so , the question is is this right ? I would imagine that the root of the protest is not because such small productions could ever really matter, but some people have got to feel that things have gone too far and are voicing their displeasure in the only way they can . If all men find seeing two men in romantic pose offensive are the rights of men violated by the growth of these images outside of homosexual communities like the West Village in NY , or those in San Francisco ? So, I suspect this is not about these productions, but is a reaction to the thought that homosexuality is now promoted like a good thing , or matter of choice .

  150. @VB Well looky here, those notorious censors at the Times have allowed you to "post the truth". Do you even understand why? You didn't use any profanity or invective. Yet you still had the absurd belief that you would be censured for your beliefs. Try to learn from this. I believe that your beliefs are truly silly. "If all men find seeing two men in romantic pose offensive..." but we don't. I can say that authoritatively since I am a man and I don't find it so, so "all men" is false. Reminds me of some guys back in the sixties who were outraged when some men started wearing their hair long. Since they didn't want to see it they thought it shouldn't be allowed. A little unclear on the concept of liberty. If it bothers you, stay inside your home where you have the right to control what happens. I have a funny feeling you won't be missed all that much outside.

  151. @VB A drag performer I'm acquainted with is happily married to a woman and has two children. It's not just a "homosexual" thing.

  152. You tried to post the truth and you failed. You should get yourself to Mobile and be anti-gay protester #11.

  153. Larry Householder and Jim Jordan graduated from the same school of the absurd. The commentators are correct -- if you don't approve, don't take your kids! How hard is that to understand?

  154. A man wearing a dress! The next thing you know, women will start wearing pants. Pants, I tell you! Society polices men’s bodies and how they clothe them constantly. “No open toed shoes, no shorts, jacket required, tie required, etc. etc.” That bathing suit doesn’t reach your knees! That’s a TANK top! You wore short sleeves??? Compare the men’s clothing section of any store with the women’’s. The men’s section is one quarter the size with one tenth the variety. It’s so bad that what men wear to story hour is apparently important enough for legislators to opine upon. So you go guys! Break some barriers. Knock down the walls of sartorial prejudice! Summer is coming and I don’t want to sweat out another garden party in a jacket, slacks, and shoes when I could wear nice a light sundress with some playful strappy sandals instead.

  155. Everyone has lost their minds.

  156. I have to go check what time the BDSM Club has its reading hour this week at my local library. If i am not mistaken it will be highlighting the works of the Marquise de Sad, adapted for pre-teens of course. I need to get the proper attire for the family to attend.

  157. Cool your jets, it’s just a drag queen.

  158. Really? This is what they chose to protest? There are serious problems regarding kids in this country - hunger, lack of health care and services, expensive medication, underfunded schools... Drag queens teaching kids to love books and reading in not one of those. However, teaching kids to hate is more than serious problem and this is where are leaders can do something about it. Hypocrites will latch onto anything that’s not “straight white male Christian” ideal.

  159. It's amazing what gets people off their couches to protest. Drag Queen reads to kids? MOBILIZE NOW. Kids get poisoned water in Detroit? huh. Catholic priests molest kids? Nah. 1 in 5 kids go hungry? Nope. Any law regulating assault style weapons after a school shooting? Yawn. But drag queens at reading hour? SMH.

  160. Those who protest "me think, doth protest too much". Or they just have hate in their hearts and too much time on their hands. The fist statement can be helped with a good dose of therapy for those protesters. The second one is just really inexcusable.. Those protesters need to go home and pray. When they are done praying they need to then then bake a cake with all that spare time, and bring it to the library for the Queen's and the kids.

  161. It's kind of nice, isn't it, to think that in just fifty years time we've progressed from drag queens being jailed and beaten at Stonewall to having them dress up in all their fabulousness and read to the children in that holiest of places in New York City, our public library. So many good people I knew during the first heady days of the riots who I dearly wish were still here to see this.

  162. When I was a kid back in the '70s and early '80s, I used to beg my mom to take me the French Quarter after Sunday Mass so I could eat beignets and hopefully see a drag queen or two (Yes, I recognize the irony. I was a bizarre kid). Upon reflection, I realize that I was fascinated with drag queens because of all their camp and artistry---kind of like how some kids are drawn to comic books or circuses. And guess what? Appreciating drag queens didn't turn me into a social deviant. If anything, it made me less judgmental of others, more tolerant of different views and accepting of my own flaws and quirks.

  163. Leave it to the Drag Queens to actually Be Best!

  164. @John Well said, bravo!

  165. I don't know why, but my son loved drag queens when he was little. I wasn't allowed to take a Miss Richfield magnet off my refrigerator for years. I think it was because the queens he came in contact with were so big and bright and cartoon like. I totally would have taken him to a drag queen story hour at the Washburn library if they had had them 25 years ago. He would have had a gas.