Drag Queen Story Hour Bullet Points
- A Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) typically runs about 45 minutes. The performer reads 3 or 4 children’s books, sings children’s songs and leads children in a craft activity (e.g., making a crown or a wand).
- DQSH helps children learn about empathy, diversity and respect for all people.
- It can help kids who feel marginalized or who may not fit “traditional” gender roles feel recognized and accepted. Experiences like DQSH may help build confidence in kids who have been given labels like “tomboy,” “sissy,” or worse.
- By celebrating differences, DQSH may help curb bullying of LGBTQ kids and those who don’t conform to gender norms.
- DQSH encourages creativity and self-expression in a safe, age-appropriate atmosphere.
- Drag Queen Story Hours have been held across the country in public libraries, elementary schools, preschools, parks, bookstores and churches.
- DQSH has been held at the Lewisboro Library and the King’s Daughter Library in Haverstraw. A DQSH is planned for July at the Hudson River Museum.
- DQSH at Riverfront Library is being held on a Wednesday, which is not one of our regular days for story time. Attendance is strictly voluntary. No young children will be admitted without an adult (and no adults will be admitted without a child).
- DQSH performers are trained by children’s librarians to provide an engaging and educational experience. DQSH celebrates learning and play—and it’s fabulous fun!
From the DQSH FAQs:
What is Drag Queen Story Hour?
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 children’s books, sings children’s songs, and leads children in a craft activity such as making crowns, wands, or paper bag puppets, or sometimes other activities like face painting or dress-up time. Through a fun and fabulous literary experience, DQSH celebrates learning and play, encouraging kids to celebrate gender diversity and all kinds of difference, while building confidence in expressing themselves. Some cities also offer other kinds of DQSH programming for kids and teens of all ages.
Does DQSH promote an agenda?
Our agenda is simple: we believe that people of all ages should be free to express themselves however they want, free from the constraints of prescribed gender roles. In other words, there’s no such thing as “girl clothes” and “boy clothes,” or “girl toys” and “boy toys.” DQSH teaches children that there are many ways to express themselves and their gender, and they are all OK. Of course, drag is an art form that is rooted in diverse LGBTQ communities, and we support equality, justice, and respect for all people—for us, that’s just a given. Given that LGBTQ people are present in every community, we believe that children deserve to be exposed to these aspects of our shared history and culture, in age appropriate ways. Any insinuation that we have an agenda to indoctrinate children misunderstands LGBTQ experiences and is rooted in homophobia and transphobia.
Why is DQSH necessary?
DQSH helps children develop empathy, learn about gender diversity and difference and tap into their own creativity. DQSH can also be life-changing and ultimately life-saving for LGBTQ kids and teens, kids with LGBTQ parents or family members, and anyone who feels different because of their identity or interests or who may not otherwise see themselves reflected in the broader culture.
Should children be exposed to issues like gender fluidity?
Most children naturally explore gender identity and norms through imaginative play. However, too often gender norms are socially enforced at all ages, from the colors or clothes we’re supposed to wear to the toys kids are allowed to play with to the kinds of jobs we’re trained for. DQSH teaches children to follow their passions and embrace gender diversity in themselves and others. This helps to curb bullying of LGBTQ kids and kids who may be perceived as different in all kinds of ways.
Drag Queen Story Hours – Past & Future Events:
These events have taken place in 2019 or will take place in June. The list is not exhaustive.
New York Public Library
53rd Street Library – DQSH for Kids with Autism & Other Special Needs was held on Saturday, May 18; Saturday, April 13; Saturday, March 9; and 7 times in 2018.
Tompkins Square Library – Thursday, June 6, 11:30 am
Webster Branch – Wednesday, June 12, 4:00 pm
67th Street Branch Library – Tuesday, June 18, 4:00 pm
Washington Heights Library – Thursday, June 20, 4:00 pm (part of their Summer Reading Program)
Brooklyn Public Library
Gerritsen Beach Library – Thursday, June 6, 2:00 pm
Park Slope Library – Saturday, June 8, 11:00 am
Queens Public Library
Forest Hills Library – Tuesday, June 11, 3:00 pm
Seaside Community Library – Wednesday, June 19, 10:30 am
Other libraries in New York State
Kinderhook Memorial Library – Saturday, June 8, 11:00 am
(Also Brooklyn Historical Society and Brooklyn Children’s Museum)
Rogers Free Library, Bristol RI – Saturday, June 15, 1:00 pm
These libraries have hosted a DQSH (New York chapter – all years):
Bay Ridge Library
Brighton Beach Library
Brooklyn Public Library
Central Children’s Center at 42nd Street
Countee Cullen Library
Library Crown Heights
Library DeKalb Library
East Meadow Public Library
Francis Martin Library
George Bruce Library
Hamilton Grange Library
Haverstraw King’s Daughters Library
Hudson Park Library
Jackson Heights Library
Mott Haven Library
New Amsterdam Library
New York Society Library
Park Slope Library
Port Jefferson Library
Red Hook Library
Seward Park Library
St. Agnes Library
Todt Hill-Westerleigh Library
Tompkins Square Library
Washington Heights Library
53rd Street Library
67th Street Library
In addition, several New York City public schools have hosted events (PS 3, PS 63, PS 118, PS 363), along with private schools, preschools, museums and churches (Park Church Co-op and Park Slope United Methodist)
Online articles about Drag Queen Story Hour around the country: