Queen Ida Kay reading to children

Drag Queen Story Time Puts the Read in Reading Rainbow

There is something very fishy about these librarians. On a Saturday morning, drag queens Ida Kay, Blair St. Clair, and Halle Pino are reading the rainbow to a room full of children some stories.


The event “Drag Queen Storytime” is hosted at Indianapolis Central Library. It has been newly added to their calendar since its start in June and has been a huge success. The most recent one held July 22nd was an encore of the first.


These queens weren’t the only ones playing dress-up. Indianapolis Central Library’s event “encouraged to dress up as their favorite superhero and listen to age-appropriate adventure stories” including the books “Rules of Being a Superhero,” “Princess Super Kitty,” and “My Mom Has X-ray Vision.”


Besides the reading, the library provided paper masks for the kids attending to decorate. 


The three queens with child dressed as Bat Girl.

Image courtesy of WHAS


“When we put on drag, that is a superhero costume because it is an extension of our existing personality,” Pino said in an interview with USA Today. “It allows us to do something greater than ourselves by being faces in the community and by being voices in the community.”


The event in the series started in June, pride month with the help of the organization “Indy Bag Ladies” which is a fundraising organization for HIV and AIDS. Drag Queen Storytime was an immediate success and drew in over 100 people at the first session. Stephen Lane, who organizes this event, was inspired by similar events in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York called “Drag Queen Story Hour.”


Drag queens are an obvious choice for children’s events since they are often dazzling with rhinestones, makeup, and eccentric dress. “Sometimes … when I do story time by myself, the parents are texting and the kids are, you know, rolling around,” Lane says to USA Today. “With drag queen story time, it seems that everyone’s engaged.”


Indy Bag Ladies at Indy Pride in 2011

Image courtesy of Flickr


The Indy Bag Ladies have attributed themselves as possibly the first HIV/AIDS fundraising organizations. On Indy Pride’s website, they are said to have began “in 1981 when a group of friends decided to replace their annual tradition of a Halloween party with a Bus Tour to bars and restaurants in Indianapolis to raise money for patients who had been diagnosed with a new disease (HIV/AIDS).”


By dressing up in costume and helping those in need, it can clearly be said that the Indy Bad Ladies are in fact America’s super heroes. They raised over 17,000 dollars on their 32nd Bus Tour in 2012.


What do you think they are reading next? Tuck Everlasting?


Feature image courtesy of USA Today