Bristol welcomed two ‘Drag Queen Story Time’ (DQST) events this week at Bishopston and Bishopsworth libraries. Parents and children were invited to two different session to listen to the stories being read in a way they may not have seen or heard before.
Bristol is believed to be the first city in the UK to host a Drag Queen Story Time in a library and is hoped that this could become a more regular event in the city’s libraries during the holidays.
The inventor of the story time, Tom Canham, was inspired by ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’ which is a similar programme which originated in San Francisco, America.
The aim of the programme is to teach children from an early age the importance of self-acceptance.
Tom said: “Drag queens and children don’t usually encounter each other, which we believe is a shame and one of the many reasons why we host this event, which has so far been really well recieved. We believe it is fundamental that children are taught the value of accepting themselves and others and this is a useful way of introducing children to people who may be different to them.”
Drag Queen Story Time is designed to engage young children with the joys of reading with theatrical recitals of children’s favourite books.
Cllr Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for communities, including libraries and equalities said: “Bristol is Learning City and also an inclusive city. The idea of drag queens engaging with children in an educational manner is very beneficial as it teaches them about accepting themselves and others, which is essential in this day and age. We know that good reading skills can help set children up for life and reduce inequalities so this event was designed to be a fun learning activity for the summer holiday. I hope that it will play some part in encouraging children to continuing reading outside of school."
A parent who attended one of the events, said: “It was something a bit different and the children were all so engaged. We loved how flamboyant it was and it was also great to have something that worked so well for children of different ages.”
For more information about Drag Queen Story Time visit: http://bit.ly/2wdQCNN