In Huntington Woods, Michigan, a public library has a creative way to entertain young children. During their Drag Queen Story Time, little kids hear stories told by a drag queen. The actor reads popular children’s books while dressed in drag at the public library. Although the event has been going on for more than a year and has been extremely successful – more than 100 people have shown up for the festivities at times, some people are starting to criticize it because they fear it will have a negative impact on the children.
The Detroit Free Press reported that Huntington Woods Library began the Drag Queen Story Time event back in 2017. Although similar programs have been around the country for years, the one at this suburban Michigan locations is facing a lot of pushback more than a year after it first began.
Although Drag Queen Story Time drew massive crowds – which is no easy feat for a public library – local politicians do not like how popular it is. Huntington Woods commissionaire Allison Iversen has stepped forward and expressed her opposition to the children’s program. She believes “it seems like the wrong way to teach this kind of acceptance.”
Iversen has picked up a torch to fight the Dra Queen Story Time although it is a massive success in Huntington Woods. She first started attacking it in an email to city youth library official Joyce Krom.
“It may be cheapening the sensitive nature of this issue by trying to push this idea that this is something is completely natural. Children are very naive and gullible at this age … it seems like the wrong way to teach this kind of acceptance,” Iversen said.
Iversen argued that the drag queen event could confuse little children about gender issues.
Public library clerk Jon Pickell supports the story time event and believes Iversen is being too sensitive.
“You’re not going to end up as transsexual. because you saw a drag queen story hour.”
Pickell, who identifies as gay, worries that Iversen’s attack of the program could bring about its end.
Although Iversen doesn’t like it, parents don’t have to take their children to the public event if they don’t want to expose them to drag queens. The city manager and many parents want to have the Drag Queen Story Time remain as it is an interesting and unique event for the children.
The event helps teach children to express themselves freely, even though people like Iversen might not like it.
“We are a progressive, diverse community,” Amy Sullivan said. “An out-of-state hate group made us a target.”
Sullivan says that critics have only come from outside the community.
So what exactly is Drag Queen Story Time like? According to the library’s website: “Drag Queen Storytime is just what it sounds like—drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores.”
During a recent reading, Erica and Brian Conklin brought their children to the story time. They love the idea of exposing their young children, two and three, to new experiences.
“We just wanted them to experience it and see all sorts of people,’ Brian said. ‘We didn’t want it to be a big deal. We just wanted them to have these early memories of experiencing diversity as a social norm. Nothing out of the ordinary.”
Every time you share an AWM story, you help build a home for a disabled veteran.