Take Your Kids to Drag Queen Story Time
One of Sparkle Lee’s favorite stories to read during Hour of Drag Queen Stories is The Story of Ferdinand . Ferdinand , published in 1936, tells the story of a Spanish bull who must be a courageous bullfighter, but all he wants is to go sit in flowers and admire the beauty.
“It’s a really old story,” says Dan Davidson, creator and performer of Sparkle Lee, “but it’s a strange story.”
Davidson hosts StoryTime with Sparkle , an hour of transvestite stories based in Cincinnati, Ohio. During events that last from 20 minutes to an hour, he reads stories that emphasize courage, kindness, empathy and individuality, as well as books that discuss LGBT issues according to age. Some favorites include:
- Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag of Rob Sanders
- Julian is a mermaid by Jessica Love
- I’m Jazz , Jessica Hertel and Jazz Jennings
And Drag Queen Story Hour isn’t just with Sparkle Lee in Cincinnati – the program includes events planned in dozens of cities in the US and other countries, from Arizona to Westchester County, New York and from Germany to Sweden.
Jenny Harlow of Springboro, Ohio, recently took her twins to a StoryTime party with Sparkle at the Heritage Universalist Church in Cincinnati. It was about an hour’s drive from home, but she wanted her children – twins Alix and Max, 7, and William, 3 – to see and get to know Sparkle.
“My kids loved it,” says Harlow. “The personality and aura of the transvestite is attractive. It’s nice to be with them. It’s like a princess or a celebrity in real life. “
After StoryTime with Sparkle, Harlow talked to her kids about how no one can tell us who we can be.
“We talked about being who you want to be that day, be it a man or a woman,” she says. “We also talked about pronouns and how pronouns fit who they are that day. My daughter got it right away. It took a little longer for my son (Max) to understand. “
Davidson first saw Sparkle’s influence on children while filming a music video for a friend’s group. A group of young girls were also on the set for the video and were attracted by her silver shiny heels, wild glasses, colorful cape, rainbow wig and crown.
“These little girls are like they surrounded me,” says Davidson. “They just said, ‘Oh my God, you look so good.’ You look so amazing. Is your hair made of cotton candy? They wanted to talk about everything. They thought it was so much fun. “
Find the story hour closest to you
The Drag Queen Story Hour website is the best place to find upcoming events nearby. Readings are often held at local libraries, and the American Library Association is so supportive of this that it has created its own event landing page . You can also find out about additional opportunities at supporting churches in your area.
“(Drag Story Time is about) creating a fun and nurturing environment in which children can actively recognize the importance of caring and knowing people who are different, instead of fearing or intimidating people who are different,” says Davidson.
Davidson says drag-and-drop time is usually reserved for kids from preschool to about 8, but queer teens love it too.