Drag Queen Storytime returns to libraries from Oshawa to Pickering ahead of Pride month


Published May 24, 2024 at 11:24 am

A Drag Queen performed at the Youth Pride Durham event in 2023. - via Durham Region.

With Pride Month on the horizon, Drag Queen Storytime is returning to libraries across Durham Region.

The Durham Children’s Aid Society and Youth Pride Durham organize the events every June as a Pride celebration. Each event features a drag queen reading children’s stories meant to highlight diversity and inclusion.

After the stories, the host typically performs a few songs for the audience. While the stories are typically geared to kids aged 3 to 11, all ages are welcome.

The series of events begins in Durham’s northern reaches on May 25 at the Brock Library in Cannington (10 a.m.), Uxbridge Public Library (1 p.m.), and Scugog Public Library (3:20 p.m.)

Next up is Durham’s south end on June 1 at the Ajax Public Library (10 a.m.), the Whitby Public Library (1 p.m.) and the Oshawa Public Libraries (3:30 p.m.) Finally, on June 8 they’ll hit Pickering Public Library (10 a.m.) and the Bowmanville Library (1 p.m.)

Durham’s Youth Pride event at the Regional Headquarters in Whitby follows on June 22. This will feature live performances, face painting, a photo booth and a forum for community organizations and agencies to gather in the Resource Village.

“Youth Pride Durham is a safe, inclusive celebration for children, youth and families who are part of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities and allies. This free event champions acceptance through an afternoon of performances, music, dancing, food and fun activities,” Youth Pride wrote.

Drag Queen Storytime events initially began in San Francisco in 2015. Author Michelle Tea created the event to create an environment more friendly to LGBT families. Fittingly, the first Storytime was held in the Harvey Milk Memorial Library in San Francisco.

Milk was California’s first openly gay public servant, serving as a city supervisor in 1978. He spearheaded a bill to ban housing discrimination based on sexual orientation. Fellow supervisor Dan White, the sole dissenting voice against Milk’s bill, assassinated both Milk and Mayor George Moscone in November 1978.

Drag Storytime events quickly spread around the world after their initial success in San Francisco. Durham began its events in 2019 and later won the Ontario Library Association (OLA) Les Fowlie Intellectual Freedom award and the Joyce Cunningham Award.

indurham's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising