US: City officials canceled a children’s story time hosted by drag queens. Then a church saved the day. - - PressFrom - US
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USCity officials canceled a children’s story time hosted by drag queens. Then a church saved the day.

07:10  12 june  2019
07:10  12 june  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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Drag Queen Story Hour events are happening all over the world at libraries, schools, bookstores, museums, summer camps, afterschool programs, and other Support DQSH and have fun at the same time ! “It’s really beautiful to have drag queens painting children ’ s faces and telling stories .

A Drag Queen Story Time event that was scheduled to be held in Lafayette, Louisiana, on Saturday has been postponed due to expected protests. While this is a temporary setback, the Lafayette Public Library confirms that it is not permanently canceling the program," a statement from the library reads.

City officials canceled a children’s story time hosted by drag queens. Then a church saved the day.© Daniel Becerril/Reuters A participant dressed in drag shows a book during the "Drag Queen Story Hour" event, in Monterrey, Mexico, last weekend. (Reuters/Daniel Becerril)

A public library in Texas will close to the public this weekend in anticipation of demonstrations by outside political groups over a story hour run by a drag queen for children that is planned at the branch.

The library, in Leander, a city of 56,000 about 30 miles north of Austin, will provide space for the drag queen story time event, which will be hosted by a local church on Saturday. But the rest of the facility will be closed.

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“Open Cathedral will host Drag Queen Story Time at Leander Public Library on June 15 at 3pm. Please join us. A self-described “open and affirming church ” in #Texas has decided to host a “ #DragQueenStoryTime ” for children at a local public library after city officials canceled an initial

A drag queen ' s " Story Time Fun Hour" event at a public library in Lansdale, Montgomery County, has drawn The Saturday morning event will be hosted by drag queen Annie Christ, a Lansdale resident who said "As a child , I needed someone to tell me that it was OK to be weird, to be different, when

Drag queen story hours have made libraries the latest front in the United States’ wrenching national dispute over gender roles and sexuality.

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In Leander, city officials first canceled the story hour, which was to be hosted by the public library, in late May before a progressive and LGBT-friendly church in the area, Church of the Open Cathedral, stepped in to host it. The church will hold the event in a conference room it booked at the library.

“A lot of people are upset we canceled, and a lot of people are upset we had it planned,” Priscilla Donovan, the library’s director, told reporters at the time. “But it’s starting to tip more toward people who are disappointed we canceled it.”

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The Drag Queen Story Time will share stories of individuality, openness and acceptance with families seeking an opportunity to show their children that every person is unique and Multiple Lafayette citizens and businesses offered to host drag queen story times if it does not happen at the library.

Events where drag queens read to children are established in liberal cities , but they are moving to Drag Queen Story Hour was established in San Francisco in 2015, and has since spread across the "The frequency with which traditional gender stereotypes are reinforced - every time a child uses a

Now rumors are flying about whether right-wing groups, including ones that lean toward the extreme, will be greeted by anti-fascist protesters in front of the library as children are read stories by people in drag inside.

At least one group, MassResistance, a self-described “pro-family” organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center characterizes as an anti-LGBT hate group, has targeted drag queen story hours around the country. Its chapter in Texas has organized a protest on Saturday, when the event is supposed to be held, according to its Facebook page. Other Christian groups and media companies have spotlighted the event as well. And at least one liberal group, ATX Resistance Action, has organized a counter-protest to support the event.

Ryan Hart, 38, the minister and founder of the Church of the Open Cathedral, said in a telephone interview that the church was surprised by the reaction to the event.

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Drag queen Annie Christ reads to children during Lansdale Public Library in Lansdale, Pa. The public library is not a place for activism, and a children ' s story hour certainly isn't the place to push a The event was organized by the Drag Queen Story Hour, which has hosted other Drag Queen

“We thought this would be ten kids and three moms,” he said. Now they had 2,000 people flooding their website to express interest in the event, which is RSVP only, he said. He expects about 150 people to attend the event.

“It’s about a community that’s looking to say out loud that we love our kids,” Hart, said of the positive response. “It’s about a community that has more diversity than politicians realize. And it’s about a world that’s changing and people who want to be more loving than people saying be quiet and sit down.... We’re honored to be called into the middle of that.”

The organization Drag Queen Story Hour started in late 2015 in San Francisco just as the country’s reinvigorated right-wing was coming into form. But the organization has found many fans with chapters in areas outside of traditional liberal cities; it now has outposts in places like Milwaukee; New Orleans; Charlotte; Mobile, Ala.; and San Marcos, Tex.

Its founders have described it as a reaction to the harsh political landscape of the last few years, in which painful debates about issues like identity, sexuality and race have animated the country’s politics.

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Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is just what it sounds like— drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and other community spaces. Most events are 45 minutes and designed for children ages 3-8, though this may vary by location or event. A drag queen generally reads 3-4

Parents and children listen to Angel Elektra, not pictured, during Drag Queen Story Hour at the Gerritsen Beach Library in Brooklyn on Thursday, June There are times where the rights of religious believers and those of a pluralistic society conflict. The existence of Drag Queen Story Hour is not

“I think it is partly a reaction to the political landscape of the US right now and a need for more queer programming for children,” co-founder Jonathan Hamilt told the BBC about the organization’s popularity in rural areas. “I think it is partly a reaction to the political landscape of the US right now and a need for more queer programming for children."

And it has also inspired dozens of other libraries and groups across the country to host their own, as Travor Bach reported for The Washington Post.

In recent months, the event has sparked opposition in places like Simpsonville, S.C.; Binghampton, N.Y.; Spokane, Wash.; Huntington Woods, Mich.; and Houston, where organizers canceled the long-running event after outcry that included the disclosure that one of the former readers was a registered sex offender, a lawsuit, and the arrest of a protester carrying a licensed gun for refusing to leave the event.

The debate about the story hours has also entered the op-ed pages, including into a polemic written by New York Post op-ed editor Sohrab Ahmari for the religious journal First Things and a rebuttal from New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg.

“There are times where the rights of religious believers and those of a pluralistic society conflict: when, for example, conservative Christian bakers are asked to make wedding cakes for gay couples, or some ultra-Orthodox Jewish parents are ordered, against their own convictions, to vaccinate their kids,” Goldberg wrote. “The existence of Drag Queen Story Hour is not one of those times. Conservatives are not being subjugated because they can’t stop other people from holding a public event that offends them. It’s telling that some of them think they are.”

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Performers at a children ' s stor Performers at a children ' s story hour at a New York City library have all that and then some - they're drag queens . Lil' Miss Hot Mess is hosting the library' s ' story hour', talking, singing and reading to an audience of preschoolers, toddlers and their caregivers.

A New York City library is bringing drag queens and kids together for story hour. Since last fall, the Brooklyn Public Library has been presenting Drag Queen Story Hour, where performers with names such as Lil' Miss Hot Mess regale an audience of young children and their parents.

In Leander, the event drew harsh words from the city’s mayor, Troy Hill, who castigated the library’s staff for choosing “to wade into social issues water without approval from city staff."

“Since then it has led to the predictable outrage and divisiveness that is the reason to avoid these issues," he told television station KVUE.

Mike Neu, a spokesman for the city of Leander, said that officials expected that many of the demonstrators on Saturday would be coming from outside the city, or even the state.

“We don’t know if it will be one group or several groups,” he said. The library’s closure was reported by the Austin Statesman.

The Church of the Open Cathedral is a member of the United Church of Christ, which has a history of involvement in activist movements over issues such as abolition, women’s rights and LGBT rights, Hart said. One Christian news organization called it an “apostate Texas ‘Church,’” in a headline.

Hart said he didn’t think it was a coincidence that cultural war had found its way to the staid and respectful world of libraries.

“I realized that revolutions always start with books and libraries,” he said. “People feel so deeply isolated in our society — that’s true of a lot of groups, whether it’s straight white men, people of color, or immigrants. And I believe that people want to be included no matter what and that’s what we’re trying to do with the kids of this community."

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