Libraries are a space for learning and exploration. Over the past few years we have seen an explosion in visibility for the LGBTQ community, and part of that has been through story times hosted all over the country by local drag queens. The positive impact of inclusivity and diversity through these events is felt in the communities we call home.
Members of the local Delta Lambda Phi chapter at UL Lafayette planned to host a Drag Queen Story Time event at the Lafayette Public Library. Some critics began contacting the library and Lafayette Consolidated Government offices to complain. City-Parish President Joel Robideaux decided he would pressure the Lafayette Public Library’s board members to cancel the Story Time event.
Lafayette is a beautiful city with a unique and rich history of diversity, inclusivity, and creative expression in every form imaginable. For many years, Lafayette has provided a safe and accepting home for its vibrant LGBTQ community, and this history includes a long tradition of drag performers having a huge presence in Mardi Gras celebrations, local fundraisers, parties, festivals, drag shows – and now story time readings at the library.
Click here to tell City-Parish President Robideaux that you support our queens’ right to read – and everyone’s right to enjoy their public library as a place where diversity and inclusivity are celebrated!
These popular events are about bringing families together to encourage literacy by reading children’s books in a fun way. Drag queens are performance artists, many of whom have children of their own. And every family should have the opportunity to use the public library as a place to share in our values of love, respect, education and diversity.
The Lafayette Public Library says it best:
All story programs for this age group are designed for families to attend together and involve books, songs and craft activities that encourage interaction among the children. The picture books that are read are content- and age-appropriate. The Drag Queen Story Time will share stories of individuality, openness and acceptance with families seeking an opportunity to show their children that every person is unique and should be treated with equal respect.
Executive Director, Forum for Equality