“Drag Queen Story Hour is a fun and important program that celebrates diversity in the way that children may dress and act. It encourages children to look beyond gender stereotypes and embrace unfettered exploration of self. Programs like DQSH encourage acceptance of difference and help to prevent bullying, while providing an enjoyable literary experience.”
About Drag Queen
Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is just what it sounds like—drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores. DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real.
Organize Your Own Drag Queen Story Hour
If you live in one of our three main cities, contact us to bring DQSH to your library, school, summer camp, afterschool program, or bookstore! (And, if you’re a drag queen, please contact us if you’d like to join our program)!
For anyone who lives outside of one of our main cities, we’ve put together some guidelines for how to plan your own event, including tips on working with a venue, some of our favorite books, and questions that may come up!
“What an amazing way to teach individuality, empathy, and acceptance! Drag Queen Story Hour gave my first graders a fun and interactive platform to talk and think about social and emotional issues like acceptance, being yourself, and loving who you are. Through books, songs, arts and crafts, and movement activities, they explored these issues and had an amazing time doing it! During our debrief after DQSH, they were preaching the incredible lessons they had learned, like “It’s ok to be different,” and “There’s no such thing as ‘boy’ things or ‘girl’ things.” I was proud to be able to have DQSH at my school and will definitely be planning another story hour for next year!”
first grade teacher at PS 118, the Maurice Sendak Community School (Brooklyn)
“Self-acceptance and self-love are what lead me to do drag. Once I learned how to embrace my femininity, I wanted to explore that and express it in a creative way. Drag is the perfect outlet for me to do so. Through DQSH, I hope to be a positive, queer role model for kids. It’s important kids know that it’s okay to be different. Diversity is part of what makes humanity beautiful, and I’m just one example or facet of what that looks like.”
Drag Queen Story Hours have been covered in a whole bunch of media, from the New Yorker to Vice and beyond! Check out some of our favorite stories below!
Drag Queen Story Hour has also appeared in: NBC News, CBS News, Associated Press, Cosmopolitan, Daily Mail (UK), KQED Arts, School Library Journal, International Business Times (Australia), Attitude Magazine (UK), Tablet, OutBuzz, A Plus, Soule, Illustrated Impact, and Brooklyn Paper.
“It’s really beautiful to have drag queens painting children’s faces and telling stories. It’s a kid’s world to be very imaginative. If children were allowed they would dress up every day. I don’t think they’re thinking about gender assumptions. They’re just seeing the drag queens as other people who are being imaginative.”
Executive Director, RADAR Productions
“Drag Queen Story Hour is a wonderful program that helps to bring acceptance of diversity to our communities. At the most recent DQSH at The Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial Branch Library, the presenter, Black Benatar, read ‘My Princess Boy,’ by Cheryl Kilodavis. When she finished reading, she asked the children (about 40 of them), “If you met a Princess Boy, would you make fun of him?” and all the children said, “No!” Then she asked them if they would ask him to play with them, and they all said, “Yes!” I had tears in my eyes, it was so beautiful and moving. This program is more important than ever.”
Children’s Librarian, San Francisco Public Library
Please donate to the DQSH location nearest you!