Parents at the New York City Public Library may have gotten more than they bargained for when the staff started a program featuring outrageously glammed up drag queens to read to kids during story hour.
Library officials have been sponsoring drag queen reading hour since late last year, according to the Associated Press.
The drag queens come into the Brooklyn Public Library once a month to regale the kiddies with such old standby titles as Wheels on the Bus, You’re Wearing THAT to School, and others. Many of the stories are adapted drag queen-style for performers with names like “Lil’ Miss Hot Mess.”
The AP describes Lil’ Miss Hot Mess as appearing before the kids wearing a “silver sequin dress with rainbows, blue and silver glitter eyeshadow and an enormous wig of curly blond hair.”
“Drag queens and children don’t usually get together, which I think is a shame and one of the benefits of a program like this,” Lil Miss Hot Mess told the AP.
Some parents speaking to the AP insisted that Lil’ Miss Hot Mess is a positive role model. Parents Kesa Huey and Sarah Baratti told the AP that the events are great. “I think we’re just looking for exposure to positive role models in as many forms as possible,” Huey said.
Kat Savage, a children’s librarian with the Brooklyn Public Library, told the news service that the reception for drag queen reading hour has been very positive. But, she also suggested that those who have a problem with it should just stay away from her library.
“We just tell people: ‘If it’s not for you, you don’t have to come,'” Savage said.
The New York program was modeled after one started last year in, where else, San Francisco.
The West Coast program, reportedly sponsored by a group that promotes queer artists, started in March of 2016 in the San Francisco Public Library, SFGate.com reported last year.
“This project is about taking back the radically queer roots of the neighborhood. With art and literature, we’re doing a series of interventions and bringing in other queer folks into that space,” Juliana Delgado Lopera, a spokesperson of the sponsor organization, told the paper at that time.
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