Jan. 18, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
Drag Queen Story Hour, where drag queens read stories to children, is making its way to Long Island City this Friday.
The free program will take place on Jan. 19 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Court Square branch of the Queens Library, located at 25-01 Jackson Ave.
Robyn, a local drag queen, will be conducting the story time.
The story hour, which began in 2015 and has traveled to schools, libraries, and bookstores in Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, aims to tap into “the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood,” according to the founders.
“In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real,” reads part of the program’s description on its website.
Drag Queen Story Hour [DQSH] first hit New York by way of a Brooklyn bookstore in 2016. From there, it got the attention of the Brooklyn Public Library. Judy Zuckerman, director of youth and family services for the Brooklyn Public Library, says DQSH is a fun and important program that celebrates diversity.
“It encourages children to look beyond gender stereotypes and embrace unfettered exploration of self,” she said. “Programs like DQSH encourage acceptance of difference and help to prevent bullying, while providing an enjoyable literary experience.”
But the program does have its detractors, with a conservative blogger calling the story time “hyper-politicized”. Last week, a library in Binghamton, New York, responded to a flurry of comments that denounced their plans to bring DQSH to the center, with some calling the program “depraved.”
“Libraries stand for values of freedom, intellect, openness, tolerance, and the opportunity to freely explore the entirety of the world in which we live,” reads part of a message the library wrote on Facebook. “If any of our enrichment programs offend the sensibilities of some of our patrons, they are welcome to exercise their freedom to not participate.”
The other day, I took my nine year old and her friend to a bookstore. It was great, as always. When he said to me, however, ” I just saw this weird book where the boy says he wears a dress sometimes and they told him it’s ok.” I was at a loss for words. These are topics for older ages( arent they?). I hope I kept my response light & clear. Jury out on drag queen hour,too. .A flamboyant appearance may keep the kids’ attention, possibly.
Can’t wait for the pimps, street hookers and junkies to read their stories to the kids next. It’ll be great for the children to learn about the fascinating culture of human degradation and exploitation.
“It encourages children to look beyond gender stereotypes…”
No it doesn’t. Drag queens often present the most grotesque, exaggerated, even insulting, depictions of women/femininity. It’s a laugh for them and I really don’t care what they do. But to pretend that this is some kind of a positive contribution to young minds is stupid.
That’s not a very nice thing to say about Giuliani.
I didn’t think it was funny when Giuliani did it, when frat boys do it at the Halloween Parade, or when gay men do it. All of it reeks of mockery with whiffs of misogyny. It’s not the kind of thing I would want my kid exposed to.
It’s so upsetting that in this day and age we still have people pushing close mindedness and hate on the next generation. Drag portrayals are NOT misogynistic (in the professional sense – it’s just silly to compare frat boys and republican mayors to actual professional drag queens and kings), and based on your comment, you will be shielding your children from most of the world if you don’t want to expose them to potential misogynistic characters. Why not let your children experience this, take away the entertainment of imagination and dress up from the drag queens AND take the opportunity for a parenting moment, should there be any portrayals you disagree with? Better to teach right from wrong then to be close minded and shelter your kids from things you disagree with. That’s pretty much like teaching hate.
Yeah, but maybe “theology” is appropriate in the sense it was used because there is a religious fervor to certain liberal identity political issues.
Oh, I don’t know. Yeah, drag queens are a hoot, but can’t we just leave kids alone to read their books in peace without adults interfering with them and advancing their agendas? I just wonder what kind of reaction there would be if a group of white supremacists decided that they should read books to kids about their racial identity. I’m so glad I’m not a kid or parent today.
We are still way behind San Fran, where the kiddies can enjoy S&M storytime, where they get stories read by both the dominatrix and the slave. ALL voices need to be heard! C’mon JVB, don’t be such a prude.
This is fantastic. Expanding upon an already successful and educational concept (library story time) and allowing our children to be exposed to different facets of culture, likely not something that is as easily found outside of NYC. I am raising my child here so she can be exposed to all walks of life, all kinds of people, all types of culture. It’s so depressing to see those who are against this storytime, especially in 2018 and as NYC residents. Now – can we get a reoccuring Drag Queen Bingo night going for the adults? O69!
You’re judging the parents against having men dressed as women read to our children…? There must be something wrong with you. Man with makeup equals clown in my book, and not a “culture”… Go ahead and be a drag queens, I have no problem with that. The only thing I ask is that you keep it away from my children.
There is nothing wrong with me, except for disagreeing with closed minded, judgmental, people, and having been taught the manners not to insult others flagrantly on an anonymous news blog. Good luck raising your sheltered children, hopefully at a minimum, you teach them not to fear what they do not understand, unlike their parents.
Agreed, I don’t want Giuliani anywhere near my children
The corruption of the minds. And the pushing of the gender theology by the liberal elites.
Do you mean ‘ideology’? Theology is the study of God. Just a liberal elitist helping you out here.
Are you talking about that time that Trump kissed Giuliani in drag? They’re elite, but not liberal.
Nobody more elite than the sef righteous Republicans.
Almost as elite as the east-coast billionaire playboy talk show host living with his fashion model third wife in a golden tower with his name in all-caps story-tall letters on the front when he’s not golfing at his privately-owned members-only resort in Palm Beach, the largest mansion in Florida.
I can’t believe anyone would have a problem with this. It’s 2018. Let’s grow up. Kudos to Queens Library – history will be kind to you.
Kudos to what…? All I see is that they’re trying to brainwash kids. Just leave them alone.
Learning through play is a cornerstone of literacy. Storytimes should be fun and exciting, which Drag Queen Story Hour is sure to be!
Just remember: your own children will need to make excuses for your antiquated ideology when tbey are your age. Probably with a great deal of embarrassment.
of course Mr. JVB approves of this — he is in charge of the libraries — this is an outrage kids should be learning — and also reading – a waste of money –
The cowardly anonymous JVB stalker strikes again. Dude you’re an obsessed coward, who is afraid of everything. Come out of your closet already.
This should be banned. It’s a shame that we would even have to ban it. Why do kids need this? They need to learn to read. This is a gross waste of resources.
“If any of our enrichment programs offend the sensibilities of some of our patrons, they are welcome to exercise their freedom to not participate.”