Drag queens across the country are going to the library to read to young children in a program called “Drag Queen Storytime,” while some San Diegans think this type of community event is overdue others in Chula Vista are calling foul and have no interest in allowing their children to check it out when it debuts at their local branch next month.
Recently a “Drag Queen Storytime” was announced for September 10 as a part of that city’s proclamation labeling September 14 as LGBTQ Day. The Chula Vista Public Library sent out the announcement via Facebook but according to KUSI, not everyone was eager to see its arrival.
The reading program started in San Francisco and has since been seen in 40 cities around the country. The venues can range from libraries to book stores, to coffee shops, but the concept is the same: drag queens in full make up and costumes read to young children.
It’s this aspect of the show that some Chula Vista parents and faith leaders find inappropriate, “Our children, our families come here not knowing this event is taking place and frankly, some will be greatly taken aback. Many children, believe it or not, have not been exposed to drag queens,” said one concerned resident.
Fueling the flames are conservative organizations such as Mass Resistance who write, “Having illicit, sexually explicit entertainers reading to children, billing them as heroes and role models, is just unthinkable and unconscionable.”
The South Bay Pentecostal Church also voiced their concern about the program. Executive Pastor Amado Huizar told local news program KUSI he believes there is an agenda at play.
“If you go to the backstory and look at what they’re promoting for Drag Queen Story Hour, they are going to each city — if you look at their website — they say clearly that they’re trying to indoctrinate this agenda to young children who don’t even know the ABCs, don’t know how to read, but they’re trying to share this at a public setting,” said Huizar.
The library’s description of the upcoming event focuses on its educational and self-confidence aspects.
“Learn the history of drag while encouraging acceptance, being yourself, and loving who you are! Celebrate LGBTQ+ pride with stories, crafts, and dancing.”
The City of Chula Vista is standing behind the event and released a statement about the program:
“The Chula Vista Public Library welcomes everyone and our extensive programming includes and reflects the diverse communities we serve. Hosting drag queens to read and relate with children sends a message of acceptance and tolerance. The event emphasizes play, fun and imagination.”
This isn’t the first time a Drag Queen Story Hour has been discussed in a San Diego neighborhood. Leah Shuchter, the President of Mission Hills Town Council, has been trying to get one at the new library on Washington Street for several months.
Drag Queen Storytime will take place on September 10 at the Otay Ranch Library – The HUB located at 2015 Birch Road, Suite 409 Chula Vista, 91915 from 4 pm to 5 pm.
Edit: The original story said the event was called Drag Queen Story Hour. That was incorrect, the event is called Drag Queen Storytime. This story and its headline have been updated.