Calgary Public Library launches new drag storytelling series

The Calgary Public Library and Calgary Pride launched the first 'Reading with Royalty' program Saturday. Lauren Pullen / Global News

The Calgary Public Library is taking story time to a whole new level, having kids sit down and read with a drag king and queen.

Calgary Pride opened the book on the idea and in conjunction with the library launched Reading with Royalty.

“The conversation as it relates to gender expression has only just begun,” said Calgary Pride executive director Laurissa Chapple. “This is a gentle fun way to introduce that conversation to little people in a way that’s a lot easier for them to understand.”

Library spokesperson Kristen Duke said the program was a perfect fit with the library’s ideals and values.

“At the library we really strive to promote inclusive spaces for all race, culture, socioeconomic status, personal identifier,” Duke said.

“This is a real fit to us. It’s fun, sparkly, and obviously drawing a huge crowd. It’s about literacy and if people are getting excited about reading and books we’re happy.”

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The books chosen for story time have themes of acceptance and inclusiveness.

“It’s just a great way to introduce them to the concept you can be whatever you want to be and you can make your dreams come true,” drag performer Felicia Bonée said.

And the kids are accepting without question according to Bonée.

“It’s not so much they don’t understand you’re a girl dressed as a boy or a boy dressed as a girl. They’re more interested in what you’re wearing. [The best question] I got from a kid was where I got my shoes from,” she laughed, while sporting purple platform sparkly stilettos.

The program will continue once a month at different libraries around the city.

The next two events will take place March 3 at Village Square Library and April 7 at Saddletown Library.



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