Black Birch Books, the only private bookstore in Wasilla, is hosting what it calls a “fabulous and inclusive Drag Storytime” for young children.
According to an announcement for the June 10 event, “special guest readers will bring children’s books to life with charisma and style, making this a fun event for all ages! We can’t wait to see you there! Looking fabulous for the event is encouraged!”
The event is being coordinated with The Queen’s Guard – an LGBTQ activist group that is led by a biological woman who now identifies as a man.
“This event will be fun for anyone of any age, child or adult, to attend!,” a notice from the Queen’s Guard states. “They may be reading children’s books but, that’s part of the fun of storytime! This is a storytime like any other. We have special readers (kings and queens) who will be in drag for this one. We love supporting our community and we’re never shy about it.”
Drag shows for kids have been hotly debated, both in Alaska and across the country. Advocates say the events are an opportunity for children to explore their gender identity and, while being exposed to so-called “gender non-conforming” people. Opponents argue that encouraging young children and toddlers to question their sexuality only sows confusion in impressionable young minds.
The announcement for the Wasilla drag reading was posted less than two weeks after Palmer bookstore, Fireside Books, came under heavy criticism for distributing LGBTQ-themed literature to children at a Teeland Middle School book fair earlier this spring.