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Huge success for Drag Queen Story Hour UK sessions

Huge success for Drag Queen Story Hour UK sessions

02 September 2022
[ Zoom ]
Drag Queen Story Hour UK

Wokingham Borough Council would like to thank residents following the success of the Drag Queen Story Hour UK sessions held recently at some of its libraries.


Acclaimed drag performer and published author Aida H Dee stopped by at Wokingham, Woodley and Lower Earley libraries on Wednesday 24 August to entertain children and share important messages about diversity and inclusion.


It proved to be one of the most popular events for children seen in recent years, with more than 100 people booking to see the free pantomime-style performance.

Kindness, diversity and acceptance


Cllr Sarah Kerr, executive member for climate emergency and resident services, took her two sons to watch the show in Wokingham. She said: “We had so much fun and I was laughing so much I had to wipe tears away from my eyes: it was a brilliant event. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who came, the library staff and also to those who supported the reasons for holding the event more generally.


“It is hugely important for the council to organise events like this as part of a diverse programme, as we educate younger audiences about the importance of kindness, diversity and acceptance. I would hope the amazing attendance reflected a shared desire by parents to help impart these values and the feedback from the day was hugely positive.”


The visit to Wokingham Borough was the penultimate stop on Aida’s ‘100 Libraries in 100 Days’ summer tour. Aida read The Three Goats United, a story about a brown, black and pink goat who try to cross a bridge. When a nasty beast called Wolf appears, the goats learn about standing up to bullies.

Managing response to the event


The council advertised the nature of the event beforehand and reassured residents with genuine concerns about the suitability of the performance. The event was aimed at children aged four and over and bookings had to be made at the relevant library.


Unfortunately, performances at other stops on the tour had attracted unsavoury behaviour and inappropriate comments from protesters. The council worked proactively with Thames Valley Police and also hired security staff to help manage this, ensuring the day ran smoothly for families.


Cllr Kerr added: “The fact that we had to do this in the first place is a huge shame. If the protesters could see what Drag Queen Story Hour UK is actually about, they would understand it is totally appropriate for children.


“There were many more supporters than protesters on the day, and even those people came from outside the area to demonstrate. The claims they were making about grooming and attempting to sexualise children were not only false but defamatory. Children should not have to experience this and it goes against the positive and inclusive message at the heart of the story hours.”


Aida is a patron of Autistic Inclusive Meets London, a professional author and five-star Edinburgh Fringe act, and has feature on Forbes Magazine for being an activist for neurodivergence. Drag Queen Story Hour UK aims to show audiences that being different should be celebrated, as well as encouraging families to attend their local library.

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