It takes a certain something to be a good storyteller: enthusiasm, timing and a flair for the dramatic. Performers at a children’s story hour at a New York City library have all that and then some — they’re drag queens.
About once a month since last fall, the Brooklyn Public Library has been presenting Drag Queen Story Hour, where performers with names such as Lil Miss Hot Mess and Ona Louise regale an audience of young children and their parents. There’s even a drag-queen version of “Wheels on the Bus” in which Lil Miss Hot Mess sings of hips that go “swish, swish, swish” and heels that go “higher, higher, higher.”
“Drag queens and children don’t usually get together, which I think is a shame and one of the benefits of a program like this,” Lil Miss Hot Mess said while putting on an outfit that included a silver sequin dress with rainbows, blue and silver glitter eyeshadow and an enormous wig of curly blond hair. The Associated Press agreed not to use the performer’s legal name because of fears of harassment.
“It’s great that it teaches them self-acceptance in a very general way,” she said of the program, which got its start in San Francisco.