An event called the Drag Queen Story Hour is coming to a South Carolina library in February, and it is drawing mixed reactions.
The drag queen event will be held at the Five Forks branch of the Greenville County Library System on Feb. 17, according to an event page on Facebook.
Drag Queen Story Hour is being held by Mom’s Liberal Happy Hour SC, which said the event is designed to expose children “to all the different kinds of beautiful people in the world,” in an effort to allow them to “become more kind, confident, and tolerant individuals,” the group wrote on Facebook.
It will run from 3-5 p.m., and will feature “fabulous queens, inspiring books, and fellowship with your amazing friends and neighbors,” per the Facebook event description. There will be “four lovely ladies ... sharing entertaining stories with you and your children.”
There are a lot of supportive comments on the Facebook event page, and as of Tuesday night 129 commitments from people planning on attending the event. Several people commented they were excited about the event, and said they were bringing their children.
But not everyone is so enthusiastic.
One person wrote on the library’s Facebook page that the event was upsetting, and he called it “pure child abuse and needs to be stopped immediately.”
Another person commented that she is “sick and tired of the devil trying his best to get our children!”
Someone else wrote “they are trying to subject our precious children to drag junk,” adding the “library should not allow this!!!”
The library has been contacted about the event and the community engagement manager issued a statement that the Drag Queen Story Hour is “in accordance with the library’s policy on use of meeting spaces but is not being sponsored or promoted by the library system,” WHNS reported.
Drag Queen Story Hour has support from the American Library Association, which said the events create “a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive society.”
According to one drag queen involved with the event, what will occur at the library is not what might be seen at a nightclub.
“I think people think we are going to be bringing our Saturday night life into the library and we are gonna put on like a fabulous drag show, but that’s definitely a misconception,” Rylee said in a WSPA report. “No one is there to push an agenda on anyone no one is there to persuade people or to recruit people.”
Similar events are held at libraries throughout the country. In Houston, a drag queen story hour attracted close to 100 families to the library as well as a large group of protestors outside, according to the Houston Chronicle. A similar protest took place in a Detroit suburb last Saturday, and two dozen people speaking out against the event were outnumbered by “about 200 counter-protestors,” the Detroit Free press reported.
At least one person has called for a protest of the South Carolina event on Facebook.
Library statement on Drag Queen Story Hour
“We are receiving a mixture of questions, complaints, and positive comments from the public about a drag queen story hour at the Five Forks Branch of the Greenville County Library System.
This event is not sponsored or promoted by the Greenville County Library System. It is a reserved use of a public meeting space within the Meeting Spaces Use Policy and Regulations established by the Greenville County Library System’s Board of Trustees.
Users interested in reserving a public meeting space must complete an application and agree to comply with the Meeting Spaces Use Policy and Regulations which can be obtained from any Library location and online at https://www.greenvillelibrary.org/meeting-spaces.
All Library meeting spaces are available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of the individuals or groups requesting their use. Approved use of Library meeting spaces does not constitute endorsement of the applicant’s viewpoints.”