Louisville library will host Drag Queen Storytime after previous cancellation

Updated: Mar. 25, 2019 at 10:55 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Drag Queen Storytime was scheduled at the Southwest Library in Louisville when it was canceled abruptly and without reason.

The Louisville Free Public Library’s Interim Director, Lee Burchfield, promised a similar event would be schedule soon and now it is happening in May at a different location with a different storyteller.

The new event will take place at the Main Branch in downtown Louisville on May 18 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. The special guest storyteller, Vanessa Demornay, competes in pageants and promises stories, dress up, and glitter at the event.

“This is just performance,” Christ Hartman, Executive Director of the Fairness Campaign, said. “It's a way to bring the LGBTQ community and a performance that is often been deeply held within the LGBTQ community to the broader community.”

The Fairness Campaign is a LGBTQ advocacy organization. Hartman said the group has seen successful story hours in various cities, with drag queens reading to children.

“Hate and prejudice is really a learned behavior,” Hartman said. “Children don't have any sort of judgement about folks in drag.”

The story hours do attract controversy.

An event in Evansville drew a big crowd of children and their parents, but protesters gathered outside the library calling it “a sad day.”

A similar drag queen story hour in Evansville, IN, drew protesters. (Source: WFIE)
A similar drag queen story hour in Evansville, IN, drew protesters. (Source: WFIE)

“These are children’s literacy programs consistent with the library’s values of respect for individuals,” Burchfield said.

Burchfield welcomes Vanessa Demornay as the guest storyteller. While the event is receiving some negative comments on social media, Hartman said visibility is a first step towards acceptance.

“This is to send the message of acceptance and that differences are something to be embraced rather than rejected,” Hartman said.

Burchfield still has not explained why the initial Drag Queen Story Hour was canceled and the storyteller changed.

The Derby City Sisters, who were the initial guest storytellers, are happy the new event has been scheduled for May.

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