In the Fall 2019, The English Department at The University of Tampa hosted Drag Queen Story Hour. To be honest, I do not remember if the event was hosted every year or if that was the first time. I just know that a flyer about the event reached my inbox and it caught my attention. At that time my child was 3 years old and I thought for sure he would enjoy story time. Also, he love going to campus on the weekends to see where his mom worked. For us as parents it was a great to teach him about inclusivity at a young age and to encourage a love for learning and reading.
That Saturday, we made our way to campus and we mentioned to our son that we were going to “drag queen story hour.” We got there, found some good seat, and proceeded to hear the stories that the drag queens were reading for us. It was a really good crowd. There were lots of children and parents, also faculty and staff from the university. After the readings, we wanted to say thanks to our readers. My family and I made out way to the front of the room and talked to the wonderful queens. One of them asked me what my role was at the university and I mentioned that I was a professor in the department of education. They were a bit shocked because according to them ” I looked very young” (I laughed). So they proceeded to tell me that they were interested in getting masters in education, so I gave them my business and told them to reach out to me if they had any questions. My family and I then took a picture with the drag queens! It was a wonderful event.
As we were walking back to our car I ran into the Provost, who stopped by the say hi to me and my family. In the exchange we mentioned that were coming to from the Drag Queen Story Hour event and he was happy to hear we enjoyed it and that there was a great turn out. He mentioned that there had been some threats made about potential protest but that he was happy everything had gone smoothly.
Once were in our car out little one said to me: “mommy were were the dragons? I did not see any dragons”
I was confused. So I said: “dragons? Why did you think were going to see dragons?”
He responded: You said we were going to “dragon queen story hour!”
My partner and I just burst out laughing! We explained the title of event to him (and what exactly were meant by drag queens) and he said: “Oh, okay!” and moved on with his day!