Drag Queen Story Hour Puts the Rainbow Back in Reading
Drag Queens love to read people, but at Drag Queen Story Hour, they open the library to read to people—children to be exact.
On a sunny day in Brooklyn, parents patiently waited with impatient kids for a drag queen to sashay into the garden of the Park Slope branch of the Brooklyn Public Library.
As drag queen Cholula Lemon sauntered into the sunlit backyard of the Library, parents and kids erupted in clapping and excitement.
After a rendition of Whitney Houston’s Greatest Love of All, Cholula Lemon sat down and began to do something spectacular—read story books to children.
“Through DQSH, I hope to be a positive, queer role model for kids,” Cholula Lemon told OutBuzz. “It’s important [kids] know that it’s okay to be different. Diversity is part of what makes humanity beautiful, and I’m just one example or facet of what that looks like.”
The storybooks read at Drag Queen Story Hour promote loving yourself the way you are and accepting differences in others.
The current political climate pushed Cholula to participate in DQSH. “When I first heard about DQSH, I knew I had to do it,” Cholula Lemon added. “Considering the current political climate, I feel a stronger sense of urgency to spread a message of love and acceptance.”
She began by reading Friendshape by Amy Krause-Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld. Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesléa Newman was next on the reading list—a gay classic that was the target of many book bannings. Cholula Lemon then read I’m a Girl by Yasmeen Ismail, which teaches kids to be whom they are regardless of what others think of them. Finally she read Big Bob Little Bob by James Howe and Laura Ellen Anderson.
After reading the books, the kids were treated to arts and crafts with their new fave drag queen. Each child was to make a star scepter like Cholula’s.
Cholula Lemon’s journey to drag started with embracing herself for whom she is. “Self-acceptance and self-love are what lead me to do drag,” Cholula Lemon explained. “Once I learned how to embrace my femininity, I wanted to explore that and express it in a creative way. Drag is the perfect outlet for me to do so.”
Can I get an AMEN up in here?
“As a parent I find it very frustrating that we teach young kids that certain things are for boys and certain things are for girls,” Rachel Aimee, director of the NYC chapter of Drag Queen Story Hour told OutBuzz. “By exposing kids to gender fluidity and gender diversity at a young ago, I hope we can show kids that that it’s OK to be themselves and express themselves however they want. DQSH teaches kids to embrace the rich diversity that exists in the world around them and to love and support each other, instead of fearing and bullying each other.”
DQSH was started by Michelle Tea and Radar Productions in San Francisco.
Watch a video of the entire Drag Queen Story Hour with Cholula Lemon