“Library” and “drag show” are two concepts we don’t often see associated. The NOTL public library aims to change that.
Toronto drag performance artists Fay (Slift) and Fluffy (Soufflé) will be at the library for an all-ages reading on Sept. 29 at 2 p.m. “It’s really just a lovely story time — with a lot of sparkle,” says Debbie Krause, the library’s community engagement coordinator.
The event is part of Culture Days, a nation-wide initiative to celebrate arts and culture over the last weekend of September every year. “We really wanted to be part of that event, and this reading seemed like a perfect fit,” says Laura Tait, library manager.
Story time with drag queens is also part of a mandate within the library — strange as that may sound. “We’re about being open to and supportive of all members of our community regardless of race, gender or sexuality. LGBTQ+ is one group that seems to run under the radar a bit around here, so this seems important to do,” says Krause. There are even plans to make this kind of thing a regular event, as one way to celebrate diversity.
“We want to encourage children and their families to be tolerant and accepting of differences,” says Krause.
The stories read by Fay and Fluffy are in the children’s shelves at the library, and generally focus on diversity, personal strength, and tolerance.
The reading will run for about an hour, and will include a little bit of dance, creativity or drama. (Where there are drag queens, there will be drama.)
Krause and Tait have vetted the act themselves, and are confident that it is not over-the-top or racy in any way. Both performers work with children professionally (one is an educator with the TDSB and the other is a child care provider), and are respectful, engaging and fun, within a supportive and inclusive environment.
You can register to attend the reading via the library’s website, and drop-ins are welcome.