San Rafael Public Library

Drag Storytime FAQs

Posted by davagy on

What is Drag Storytime?
Drag Storytime (DS) is just what it sounds like—drag artists (Queens, Kings, Qwings and more) reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and other community spaces. Most events are 45 minutes and designed for children ages 3-7, though this may vary by location or event. A drag artist 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, DS celebrates learning and play, encouraging kids to celebrate gender diversity and all kinds of difference, while building confidence in expressing themselves.  

What is Drag?
Drag is an artistic way of expressing yourself and showing the world who you are or who you want to be. Drag artists often express different aspects of their gender or personality through dressing up, performing, marching in parades, and volunteering in their communities. There are drag queens, drag kings, drag qwings, drag princes, and drag princesses—anyone can be any of the above, regardless of how they identify in everyday life! All that matters is that, when you dress up, you feel comfortable and creative.  

Should I call the drag artist “he,” “she,” “they,” or something else?
You can ask! It’s always OK to ask someone what their pronouns are. Examples of pronouns are “she,” “he,” and “they.” Some people have different pronouns at different times, like when they are in drag and out of drag. Others have the same pronouns all the time. 

Does DS 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.” DS 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 DS important?
DS helps children develop empathy, learn about gender diversity and difference, and tap into their own creativity. DS 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 age: 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. DS 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. 

Isn’t this confusing for children? What if my children have questions and I don’t know the answers?
Adults don’t always have the answers, but we can ask questions and learn together. There are awesome organizations that provide education to everyone and resources for LGBTQ+ folks and their loved ones, such as Gender Spectrum and the Spahr Center located right in Marin! Like to learn through books? We’ve got you covered with a booklist full of titles to share with your little one! 

 Why do kids love drag so much?
Children and drag artists have a lot in common. They love to dress up and use their imaginations to create awesome looks and express different sides of themselves. It’s no wonder they get along so well! 

¿Qué es la Hora de Cuentos de Drag?

La Hora de Cuentos de Drag es un programa divertido e importante que celebra la diversidad, la forma en que los niños pueden vestirse y actuar. Anima a los niños a mirar más allá de los estereotipos de género y a abrazar la exploración sin las trabas de sí mismos. Programas como La Hora de Cuentos de Drag fomentan la aceptación de la diferencia y ayudan a prevenir la intimidación, a la vez que proporcionan una experiencia literaria agradable.

La Hora de Cuentos de Drag (Drag Storytime en inglés) es exactamente lo que parece: personas vestidas de una manera que exagera el género y que leen cuentos a los niños. Esta lectura de cuentos captura la imaginación y el juego de la fluidez de género desde la niñez y les da a los niños modelos de rol glamurosos y positivos sobre las diferencias de género. En espacios como estos, los niños pueden ver a personas que desafían las rígidas restricciones de género e imaginan un mundo en el que la gente pueda presentarse como quiera y en el que el disfraz sea real.

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