Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is a unique event that combines kids’ storytime with the art of drag.
The reading session began in 2015 by Michelle Tea and RADAR Productions as a unique way to introduce children to the world of tolerance and acceptance at a young age. As DQSH writes on their homepage, “DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models.”
The events are like any other storytime session with a few extra components and one obvious characteristic. A participating drag queen reads a few picture books with “simple songs and movement activities” for 20 – 25 minutes to a group of kids at a library, bookstore, children’s museum, or a school.
The rest of the 45-minute-long program is split up into two different parts. One in which the drag queen “leads [the] children in a craft activity.” And next is the finale, a fun and playful dance party. At any time between crafts and the dance party or thereafter parents/guardians can take pictures of their children with the drag queen.
It’s all meant to be educational with a burst of fun and games to keep the children engaged. The first event took place in San Francisco but since has expanded to include regular events in LA and New York with local city chapters in around 18 states throughout the U.S. To see upcoming events from Oregon to North Carolina visit their Facebook Page.
If you’re interested in organizing your own DQSH event in your city, visit the nonprofit’s website for all the details and guidelines in order to get started. There’s also a DQSH Organizers email list that links organizers for the purpose of helping with resources and idea suggestions. To become part of the list email firstname.lastname@example.org.