NEW YORK — Two city council members in New York City who openly identify as homosexual recently hosted a Drag Queen Story Hour at a public library to celebrate a funding increase for the city’s libraries, which includes 25K allotted for drag queen reading programs.
Jimmy Van Bramer and Daniel Dromm, D-Queens, presented local drag performer Angel Elektra at the Jackson Heights library on July 25. Elektra marched in last month’s Queens Pride Parade alongside children who helped hold a banner for Drag Queen Story Hour.
“I am particularly glad that Drag Queen Story Hour has found a home at city libraries, including the Queens Public Library,” Dromm told the Sunnyside Post. “Drag Queen Story Hour is a fun and fabulous way of encouraging children to read. The flamboyancy and theatrics of Drag Queen Story Hour truly captures children’s attention and helps facilitate learning.”
“I am especially proud to support Drag Queen Story Hour, a wonderfully imaginative and inclusive program for kids that encourages acceptance and a love of reading,” similarly remarked Van Bramer. “Drag Queen Story Hour provides all kids with a space to be themselves and to see queer role models — something I desperately needed as a kid.”
New York’s 2020 budget for public libraries increased by $33 million and includes $25K for Drag Queen Story Hour programs. The Sunnyside Post reports that both Van Bramer and Dromm bookmarked $5,000 for the children’s event for their respective districts.
However, last month, some residents weren’t so thrilled about an event at the Brooklyn Public Library and protested outside of it.
“It’s one thing for a drag queen to come in costume and read kids a story. It’s another thing for them to read stories about gender fluidity,” said organizer Tag, according to the Brooklyn Eagle. “It’s about the indoctrination of these children. Just like we’re telling them there’s a tooth fairy and there’s a Santa Claus, we’re telling them they can be what they’re not.”
“What it comes down to is that this event is dangerous,” he stated. “Transgender people have the highest rate of suicide out of anyone, and to bring a child who is not even in-tune with their own body to believe that they can be something that’s biologically impossible, is irresponsible.”
One woman in Washington State who opposed a Drag Queen Story Time there wrote in an op-ed last month that she finds such depictions of women to be quite demeaning.
“Drag queens do not freak me out; they offend me to my core. Condescending remarks do not diminish the concerns of real women,” wrote Anna Bohach. “All one has to do is watch an hour of the ‘RuPaul Drag Race’ show to see the stereotypical misogynistic depictions of women. We get to watch men wear tight seductive clothing, big bouffant wigs, fake eyelashes, and over-the-top makeup, all while calling each other ‘fishy.’ ‘Fishy’ is a term used by men in drag to describe a convincing drag queen, meaning they look so much like a woman their genitalia smells of fish.”
“Let me say something about drag: a man can put on a dress, pearls and lipstick to gyrate and act like a fool to demean women. But at the end of the day he gets to take off the dress and be a man again. Women don’t get to just take off the dress. At the end of the day we come home and we feed our families, get our kids ready for bed, do the laundry and rock our babies to sleep. A woman never gets to just take off the dress; our day is never done.”