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Drag queen story hour at Rocky River Library sparks online feud

First. Fair. Everywhere.
First. Fair. Everywhere.
Updated: Apr. 21, 2021 at 12:23 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Every year, the staff at Rocky River Public Library lays out the summer’s big events.

“We did have some community comments about asking for diverse and inclusive programming,” said the director of the library, Jamie Mason.

So they did, and one project has been in the works for more than a year.

But once it was announced, not everyone was on board.

This June, Sassy Sascha will be performing virtually for a drag queen story hour.

“What’s great about story telling is the theatrical aspect of it, drawing kids in through, over-the-top facial cues, or exaggerated costumes,” said Children Service Manager Charlotte Blasier.

It’s an event many are excited for, even some headed to Facebook commending the library for this diverse experience.

One major question asked online was: When our kids ask what’s a drag queen, what do we tell them?

“In addition to just picture books that talk about identity and individuality, we also have non-fiction and educational resources about talking to your kids about identity,” said Blasier.

But the comments didn’t stop there.

“We expected that there might be a little pushback” said Mason.

The comments got personal as many questioned if drag queens were appropriate to show children.

People wrote “drag queen story hour is not innocent, and it doesn’t have good intentions,” while others said these messages were “disheartening” and “unwelcoming.”

Our team spoke on the phone to many for and against story hour, but most refused to air their concerns on camera.

“We don’t have to necessarily agree, but we should be nice and understanding,” said Mason.

Registration for the virtual event opens in just a month, and only time will tell if this story hour has a happy ending.

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