Louisiana mayor wants library’s Drag Queen Story Hour event cancelled
In the US state of Louisiana, mayor-president of Lafayette Joel Robideaux has said he wants a Drag Queen Story Hour event planned at the Lafayette Public Library cancelled, reports Louisiana newspaper the Acadiana Advocate.
In a statement this week, Robideaux said that he was looking into how the event was approved and ‘who has authority to cancel or move [the event], and the process for doing so’.
Drag Queen Story Hour is an increasingly popular literacy initiative where drag queens read stories to children in libraries, bookshops and schools. The Lafayette event was organised by the library, with students from a University of Louisiana–Lafayette fraternity volunteering to do the reading in drag. Fraternity member Brad Parfait said the library officials responded with enthusiasm and were ‘perfectly fine with it’.
Lafayette Public Library director Teresa Elberson said she was ‘horrified’ by the social media backlash against the event but ‘knew it would be controversial’. She added: ‘These individuals aren’t talking about sex or gender or anything to do with that at all … We are trying to use an individual wearing a dress to open the conversation about being different.’
The Layfayette Public Library responded with an official statement on its website, which stated: ‘The Drag Queen Story Time will share stories of individuality, openness and acceptance with families seeking an opportunity to show their children that every person is unique and should be treated with equal respect.’
There are currently no plans to cancel the event, which is scheduled for 6 October.