A Story Time Drag Queen Is Born

Leslie Hawkins -- September 19th, 2018

As promised, here is a follow-up on my post from last month about planning for Spellbound’s first-ever Drag Queen Story Hour.

Readers, I am pleased to report that this event was a huge success by every metric (attendance, enjoyment, sales) and we will definitely be doing it again, ideally as a regular story time offering. I couldn’t be more pleased with the outpouring of love and support for this event.

Our event took place on Sunday afternoon, at which time this part of North Carolina had major winds, rain, and flooding forecast as Hurricane Florence moved inland. Thankfully, for reasons even greater than our debut drag queen story hour, by the time Florence got to the mountains around Asheville it was a relatively minor weather event and the 50 or so people who joined us only had to brave some not too heavy rain.

The story hour stretched out to something more like 90 minutes with three distinct waves of attendees (though a couple of families stayed the whole time), and I think next time we’ll keep it shorter for the sake of our story reader. Speaking of whom, Euphoria (a/k/a James) was fabulous! Stories included It’s Okay to Be Different, A Color of His Own, I’m a GirlJulián Is a Mermaid, The Boy Who Cried Fabulous, Why Am I Me?, and Lovely.

Coordination of the event came about thusly: the owner of a local salon belongs to my business networking group. (Sometimes those things actually pay off!) We were both interested in bringing drag queen story hour to Asheville but we weren’t personally acquainted with any drag queens (a shame and an oversight, yes). Then James was hired as a stylist at the salon, and voila! we had a volunteer drag queen story reader.

So far, the reaction to the event has been nothing but positive, even online. People are clamoring for another one. Our local television station sent a camera crew to get footage, which is due to air this Friday evening. It will be interesting to see if that changes our 100 percent positive response stats. Based on the love and gratitude exuded by both the families in attendance and the local drag community, this is something filling a need for many in our area and we’ll keep going with it. I encourage you to contact the folks at Drag Queen Story Hour if you have an interest in bringing an event like this to your community. Remember, it’s okay to be different… and it’s even better to be fabulous!

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