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Drag queen storytime event at Montreal library ‘about respect,’ not controversy

Click to play video: 'Guest speaker sparks controversy at Dorval Library' Guest speaker sparks controversy at Dorval Library
WATCH: A planned event with a Montreal drag queen in the West Island is sparking a lot of controversy. Miss Barbada is scheduled to speak to a kindergarten children at the Dorval library this weekend. Her appearance is being welcomed by many but detractors are also letting their voice be heard – to the point where police had to be called in to meet with the mayor on Thursday. Global’s Tim Sargeant reports – Jun 9, 2022

A planned story time reading at the Dorval library is stirring some controversy.

Montreal drag queen Barbada is scheduled to read to children in French and English on June 11th.

The performer already read to kindergarten kids on June 6th and is now being invited back.

“The stories I tell are all about inclusivity. About difference,” she told Global News.

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The Dorval library posted the event on its Facebook and has received a lot of reaction, mostly positive.

But there are also detractors who don’t think a drag queen should be reading in front of children.

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Barbada disagrees.

“Every kid who comes to the story hour goes back home with a sense of, ‘OK, I understand what a drag queen is, I understand it’s different but it’s definitely not dangerous and we can have a great time with a drag queen,'” she said.

Dorval Mayor Marc Doret supports the initiative to have Barbada read to the children, but he says a lot of the negative comments online forced him to contact the police who will be there in person.

“We do not want anybody to come here and protest and make their point of view,” he said.

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June is Pride month and the West Island LGBTQ2+ Centre is counting on people to be open minded.

“If you’re going to have someone telling a story to elementary school kids, kindergarten kids, who better than a drag queen because that is generally a character already larger than life,” David Hawkins, the executive director of the West Island LGBTQ2+ Centre told Global News.

“It’s not about liking or not liking…It’s all about respect,” Barbada said.

Both scheduled performances, in French and English, are already filled to capacity.

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