The mayor of a Louisiana city is trying to shut down a proposed “Drag Queen Story Hour” at the library, USA Today is reporting.
Delta Lambda Phi, a national social fraternity for gay men founded in 1986, scheduled the event for the Lafayette Public Library in Lafayette, a city of about 130,000 people, 120 or so miles west of New Orleans. If it happens, kids will be able to hear a story read by a drag queen on October 6.
Mayor-President Joel Robideaux wants none of that. He has publicly stated that he wants to cancel it, according to The Tampa Bay Times.
“We have to be certain… that our internally approved programming is both appropriate and serves the needs of Lafayette Parish.”
However, at a city council meeting Tuesday night, Robideaux found that he was all but alone in wanting to cancel the event. Of the 20 people who spoke up about the event, all but one were firmly in support.
Brad Parfait, a sophomore at University of Louisiana-Lafayette, where there’s a branch of Delta Lambda Phi, says that the event is necessary to teach 3- to 6-year-olds the importance of acceptance.
“It’s important for young kids to understand this is normal behavior, even if it may be different to some. It’s not something you should be bullied over.”
In fact, Drag Queen Story Hour has been going on all over the country, and indeed, you can even plan your own in your community via their website.
“DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models.”
DQSH, which started in San Francisco, has already hosted events in New York, Los Angeles, and New Orleans, as well as smaller cities such as Palm Springs and Iowa City. Children’s librarian Anna Lillian Moser, of Lewisboro Library in South Salem, New York, said that the DQSH at her library was a resounding success.
“It’s not that removed from a regular story hour, just extra fabulous. I was joking that it’s like story time, but with better eye makeup.”
Not every Drag Queen Story Hour has been met with widespread acceptance, however. Over in Rahway, New Jersey, word about the DQSH got around, and someone began anonymously putting fliers in mailboxes saying the town’s library was “brainwashing” preschoolers. Nevertheless, the event went off without a hitch, and Drag Queen Harmonica Sunbeam hosted about 50 kids and their parents. They read stories out loud, sang with the kids and helped them make magic wands, and by all accounts, it was a rousing success.