The Queens Library is hosting Drag Queen Story Hour throughout the month of May for children aged 3- to 8-years-old.
The twice-a-week series kicks off Wednesday at the Woodside branch. The reading, crafting and singing crew will appear at various branches for six free story time events.
Funded by New York City Councilman Daniel Dromm, Drag Queen Story Hour made its Jackson Heights branch debut in March and it was a smash success with more than 200 parents and children, Dromm told amNewYork.
“I thought this was an excellent way to introduce children to gender nonconforming people,” Dromm said. “Kids love showmanship and flamboyance, and it was proven at the Jackson Heights branch. The kids were immediately drawn in.”
The room became a bit warm, Dromm recalled, due to the number of attendees. The openly gay councilman laughed as he recounted the Queens Library President and CEO Dennis Walcott fanning Angel Elektra, at the drag queen’s behest.
More than just fun and games, Dromm, who also chairs the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus, said Drag Queen Story Hour is “a great way to teach tolerance and acceptance to young people.” “DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models,” according to the organization’s website. “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 program started in San Francisco bringing drag queens and story time to libraries, schools, summer camps, after-school programs and bookstores spreading to Los Angeles, New York and northern New Jersey.
While libraries are losing funding and smartphones replace books with bindings, Drag Queen Story Hour introduces kids to the wonders of reading and imagination. And adults can imagine a future where children aren’t bullied for being who they are.
Separate from the queens in Queens experience, Drag Queen Story Hour will make a splash at the 53rd Street Library, at 18 West 53rd St. in Manhattan, for story hour with kids with autism and other special needs. While the events in Queens don’t require registration, space is limited for the May 12 sesh with Miss Hot Mess.