Making A Difference With Drag Queen Story Time

Have you considered asking a drag queen to come and read to your class?

It would be nice to think that schools promote equality, diversity and inclusion but for many this is just window-dressing. I’d say there is a fair amount of cherry-picking going on when it comes to adopting multiple perspectives.

But some organisations (increasingly libraries) strive to promote openness, acceptance and the opportunity to educate children about people who are different from them.

In the US, Drag Queen Story Hour has been happening for a while now but in the UK this is a new concept and it frightens some people away. We aren’t quite there yet, e.g. “What would the parents say?”

In fact, we are a million miles away from truly celebrating diversity, acceptance, exploration and education. Take a look at what I mean at the following video of JP Kane, a kindergarten teacher from Toronto.

In the UK, Bristol-based Drag Queen Story Time has been praised for ‘bringing the curriculum to life’ where drag queens read stories of acceptance, diversity and all different types of families so what’s not to like?

Drag Queen Story Time is a valuable opportunity to learn more about gender identity and acceptance although some say it is not age appropriate and it has had plenty of venomous hatred thrown its way.

In an interview with The Daily Mail, brainchild of the organisation Tom Canham said the very fact they had received criticism was proof enough that Drag Queen Story Time was needed.

It essentially boils down to the idea that LGBT people shouldn’t be around children because they pose some kind of threat. We’ve been accused of being pedophiles some pretty horrible stuff.

A BBC Three documentary celebrated the groundbreaking Bristol-based project in its Amazing Humans series and celebrates humanity and reminds us that we need to embrace our individuality and spread a message of tolerance.

In an interview with the Bristol Post, Tom said

Racism, homophobia, misogyny and the like are all learnt behaviours – we aren’t born with any form of hatred, you get taught it over time. And if projects like these can go some small way to helping prevent or curtail that, then it can only be a good thing.

And there you have it in a nutshell and precisely why we should be giving Drag Queen Story Time our full support.

Drag Queen Story Hour and Drag Queen Story Time put the rainbow in reading and where fairytales come to life.

Drag queens are important for our community  because they can create a colourful, welcoming, warm and fun environment to discuss gender and decrease anti-LGBT bullying. This is all about ‘difference’ and a real positive difference they can make too.

Reading can be a real drag for some children but this is different and this is why it works because it captures children’s imaginations.

It is glamorous and delivered by fantastic role models and it gives children an opportunity to see people who defy gender restrictions and the binary world. This is about gender fluidity and celebrating living in a world of diversity.

Difference can unhinge some people and rock their world. Yet this very difference can unite worlds and push greater understanding and acceptance of each other.


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