Chicago Public Library offers 'Drag Queen Story Time' for kids during Pride Month

drag queen story time
Miss Kitty reads a story to youngsters during Drag Queen Story Time in Uptown. Photo credit Nancy Harty

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — The Chicago Public Library is hosting Drag Queen Story Time events during Pride Month, despite controversy over similar events in other states.

Last week, a North Carolina town canceled its drag queen story hour after complaints.

WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty attended one of CPL’s sessions, in Uptown.

Nine toddlers and babies sat in circles at the Bazazian Library Branch on a rainy afternoon, listened to stories from Miss Kitty Banks, including “The Hips on a Drag Queen Go Swish Swish Swish.” They sang songs, played with scarves and made crafts.

One nanny brought her 16-month-old charge for her first in-person story time.

Exclusive Station
Pride 365
Listen Now
Now Playing
Now Playing

Banks says while young kids can be a tough crowd — especially near nap time — they’re also fun to entertain.

Wearing what she jokingly calls her “jellyfish” couture, Banks said she opts for a more conservative look for events like this, amid criticism they sexualize children: “Drag can be more revealing and more seductive and more, I guess, sexual. Because we’re adults and some of us enjoy portraying that. But we know when and where, and the time and place.”

The Chicago Public Library is hosting several other Pride events this month.

LISTEN on the Audacy App
Sign Up and Follow Audacy
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram