The first Drag Queen Storytime will be held at 5:30 p.m. June 12th, a year after the Pulse massacre. The event coincides with activities planned for Orlando United Day and One Orlando Alliance’s Acts of Love & Kindness movement.
With little publicity and only a notice in the library’s flyer, more than 140 people have registered to attend the unique story time, modeled after similar readings held in San Francisco and the Bronx. The room can hold 280 people.
“The response has been phenomenal,” said Corey Lyons, president of Impulse Group Orlando, a nonprofit that raises awareness about healthy lifestyles for gay men. Lyons came up with the idea after reading about similar storytimes in big cities across the nation but said he was hesitant to present his idea.
“I was ready to argue my point but the library staff welcomed the idea,” said Lyons. “This wasn’t one of our main events but to see the community gravitate toward it is so inspiring. Our goal is to get children to understand acceptance and it’s OK to be different.”
He had hoped to schedule a storytime every week in June but the library’s calendar was booked months in advance. They carved out a time that would allow families to attend the storytime then walk to Lake Eola Park to participate in the Orlando United Day activities.
Erin Sullivan, public relations administrator at the Orange County Public Library, said all ages are welcome to attend the story hour, which will follow the theme of unity and support shown throughout Orlando after the Pulse tragedy.
“We’re showing all people are different and all people are welcome in our libraries,” Sullivan said.
A local drag queen and a celebrity from the TV show “RuPaul’s Drag Race” will read the stories. The readers and stories have yet to be decided but will be released as soon as they are finalized.
Families interested in attending can register at Evenbrite.