A Story Hour Fit For a Queen

Libraries are all about education and inclusion and that’s exactly what the Virginia Beach Public Library system is promoting by taking part in a nationwide initiative — Drag Queen Story Hour.

Starting July 28 at 10 a.m.,  you can opt for your little one to be read to by a local drag queen, Gillette Black, at the Joint-Use Library. There will be three of these special story hour events and registration is required for each one.

The event is meant to show children role models can come in all shapes and sizes, including glamorous ones, according to the Virginia Beach Public Library. It will be not be focused on drag or teach children about drag, but simply have a drag queen read to the children just like any community member would.

Gillette will read to the children in the library’s designated story hour room, sing children’s songs with them and lead craft activities.

Children are encouraged to dress in their favorite costume or accessories! This Saturday’s theme is “Under the Sea.”

Gillette, who started dressing in drag about two years ago says she wants children to have a positive influence from the experience. “I just want them to be able to learn, get more involved with reading and learn that it’s okay to be whoever you want to be.”

Katie Cerqua, the library system’s youth and family services manager, says inclusion and diversity are the two lessons she hopes kids take away from the national program.

“I feel great about bringing it here,” said Cerqua. “Libraries from our very beginning were there to make sure people had access to information and knowledge and resources to better their lives. This just fits right in with what libraries do as a whole.”

You can register on the library’s website. Once registration fills up, there will be a waiting list.

There will be two more opportunities to participate in this event, which you can start registering for two weeks before the event date:

  • Saturday, August 25 at 10 a.m.
  • Saturday, September 29 at 10 a.m.