I always love to hear about library programs of all sorts! We can all strive to have a mix of programs that might reach out to different members of our communities – or maybe give them a few new ideas to consider. (Being in the information business, that is pretty much Job One for us!)
“JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska public library hosted its first-ever Drag Queen Story Hour.
Gigi Monroe read children’s classics to more than 100 adults, teenagers and children June 14 at the Douglas Public Library in Juneau.
Monroe, covered in ruffles, rhinestones and glitter, is the creation of James Hoagland, a professional wig designer and producer of Juneau Pride’s sold out drag revue, Glitz. Hoagland said the experience provides youth with a real life example of self-expression, so they may feel freer to express themselves.
The idea to bring drag queens to Juneau’s youth came from the Brooklyn Public Library in New York, which believes Drag Queen Story Hour “captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity in childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models,” KTOO.org reported (http://bit.ly/2tXMYGF ) Friday.
Monroe introduced herself to the gathering and said, “I’m a drag queen, and if you’ve never met a drag queen, this is what we look like. We like to play dress up and make people happy.”
It took Hoagland about an hour-and-a-half to transform into Monroe for Drag Story Hour, about the same amount of time he spends preparing for the stage. He said drag, like other performance arts, is just trying to connect with people. Hoagland said his goal is for the young people to let go and just have fun.
Amelia Jenkins, who works in youth services for the library, said there were a few raised eyebrows when they announced the event.
“We just let them know that the library is for everybody and families can decide for themselves whether this was right for them,” she said. “And they took that pretty well.””