Pro-Family Groups Plan Mobilization Against Drag Queen Story Hour
Children twerked on silver platforms a half-foot off the floor to warm up the crowd for drag queen Zamareyah Dawn, who — as Into: A Digital Magazine for the Modern Queer World reported — would read two books to an audience of kids during Drag Queen Story Hour at a public library in Mobile, Ala.
“This event represents opening the door to many other abhorrent behavioral lifestyles,” Woodridge Baptist Church Pastor Matt Morris said in Mobile, “which threatens to undermine the moral fiber of this country.”
Meanwhile, the Huntington Woods Library, in southeast Michigan, had been holding regular Drag Queen Story Time events for about a year when Allison Iversen decided she wanted them to stop.
Iversen, at the time a Huntington Woods city commissioner, explained to city youth library official Joyce Krom in a November email that children “are very naive and gullible at this age” and thus “it seems like the wrong way to teach this kind of acceptance.”
It wasn’t just the event itself that rankled Iversen. She complained Drag Queen Story Hour posters in the library forced her to “explain what ‘an unabashedly queer Drag Queen’” is to her two young children.
“For those of us with children of reading age, we can opt to not attend the event. But we can’t ‘opt out’ of our children reading the flyers lining the bookshelves,” Iversen added.
Iverson has been a lone wolf on this issue in Huntington Woods. She picked up no support from fellow Huntington Woods residents or city officials. But two family groups from out-of-state are ready to ride to her rescue.
Just the concept of Drag Queen Story Hour sends shivers up the spines of people in the groups Warriors for Christ and MassResistance. The DQSH website states, “Drag Queen Story Hour is just what it sounds like – drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores.”
And why is that a good idea? Again, the website explains, “DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models.”
“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,” the website reads.
Michelle Tea put on the first Drag Queen Story Hour at the San Francisco Library in December 2015. Within six months, the idea spread up and down the east and west coasts.
The American Library Association quickly jumped on board to support Drag Queen Story Hours. On ALA’s website, the organization admits there has been “pushback from some members” of communities planning Drag Queen Story Hours.
And while the ALA said “decisions about programming are made at the local level and are based on individual library policy,” the organization also voiced its continued support for the events as part of a “commitment to combating marginalization and underrepresentation within the communities served by libraries through increased understanding of the effects of historical exclusion.”