By Jonathon Van Maren
July 19, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Every summer growing up, my mother would dutifully drive my siblings and I down to the local public library so that we could be part of the annual Summer Reading Program. Reading contests were held, prizes were handed out, and nearly every week there was a new event for the kids—my two favorites being a costumed medieval troupe that taught us all about life in the Middle Ages, and an animal wrangler who came festooned with snakes and carting along other strange creatures.
A recent glance at the news, however, illustrated to me just how much things have changed in the twenty or so years since I traipsed into the library every week with my family. These days, public libraries have now joined the growing list of places that are showcasing the LGBT movement to children, with activist groups sponsoring drag queens to read “LGBT-friendly” books to the boys and girls who assemble for these events.
In Toronto, drag queens have been brought in to read stories like My Princess Boy to children and pitch the tenets of transgenderism. As the Globe and Mail described it: “As part of the new LGBTQ kids programming, Toronto Public Libraries across the city host story times with drag queens. The drag queens read stories of acceptance, diversity and all different types of families, then have dance parties or sing.” The Burlington Public Library hosted the same program last year.
In Edmonton, drag queens have been invited to the Edmonton Public Library in an initiative championed by the University of Alberta’s Kristopher Wells, a cheerleader of the NDP’s aggressive attacks on Christian schools. Prancing about in enactments of “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” and reading stories like The Boy Who Cried Fabulous, one drag queen told the CBC that “it’s important to broaden children’s horizons in a way that lets them know they should be themselves”—and that because “Edmonton’s still a very conservative climate” it is important that “young impressionable children” are exposed to non-binary people.
The Calgary Public Library upped the ante by hosting story-time with both a drag queen and king, sponsored by Calgary Pride. “The conversation as it relates to gender expression has only just begun” Calgary Pride executive director Laurissa Chapple told Global News. “This is a gentle fun way to introduce that conversation to little people in a way that’s a lot easier for them to understand.” Stories showcasing LGBT concepts are featured, with drag queen Felicia Bonee stating that, “It’s just a great way to introduce them to the concept [that] you can be whatever you want to be and you can make your dreams come true.”
Last year, the Winnipeg Public Library hosted “Read by Queens” for the first time, billing it as a “family storytime event” with books being read to children by drag queens. Levi Foy, who goes by the name Prairie Sky, was enthusiastic about the opportunity, noting that, “A lot of us do drag because we like to show that you can be anything you want to be. That’s what’s going to make this event really, really special, because kids are so imaginative, and for them to be able to grow up knowing that one day they can be whatever they want to be, or tomorrow they can be whatever they want to be — that’s what I really hope they take away from it.”
Drag Queen Storytime showed up at the Confederation Centre Library in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island in March. Drag queen Nicholas Whalen a.k.a. Whatsername read King and King as well as a book about a cross-dressing boy, Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress to the children, and was enthused by the reaction. “I think my favourite moment was walking out,” he told the CBC, “because this is the first time for Prince Edward Island, for many of these kids and many of the grown-ups, that they’re seeing a drag queen for the very first time.” The library staff was reportedly thrilled with the event.