EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — It’s a movement gaining steam in communities across the country, and it’s not without controversy.
El Paso’s Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is turning one this month, and the organizers are hosting their monthly story hour this Saturday, February 15, to celebrate.
According to organizers, Drag Queen Story Hour are children’s events that began in San Francisco in 2015. The story hours are hosted by drag queens who read children’s books and engage in learning activities — usually at public libraries. Currently, there are more than 35 U.S. chapters and five international chapters.
The event in El Paso began as a project through the Borderland Rainbow Center, a community organization catering to inclusiveness and acceptance of all genders.
“Given that LGBTQ people are present in every community, we believe that children deserve to be exposed to these aspects of our shared history and culture, in age-appropriate ways,” organizers say in their mission statement.
Each event, Drag Queens read children’s stories that promote inclusivity. “There’s no such thing as ‘girl clothes’ and ‘boy clothes,’ or ‘girl toys’ and ‘boy toys.’ Organizers say their goal is to “teach children there are many ways to express themselves and their gender, and they’re all okay.”
As El Paso DQSH reaches its first anniversary, they’re now bracing for their first major protest. The event, titled “El Paso Against Drag Queen Story Hour Perverting Our Children,” will be hosted by conservative group Walk Away EPT.
“There is no reason to be indoctrinating children or confusing them with their sexuality at such a young age. We have nothing against grown-ups living their lifestyle how they want, but you will not get your hands on El Paso children! We will resist you, and we will not allow you to perverse children at such a young age,” their Facebook event reads.
“Any insinuation that we have an agenda to indoctrinate children misunderstands LGBTQ experiences and is rooted in homophobia and transphobia,” organizers of El Paso’s DQSH said in response.
What: Drag Queen Story Hour
When: Saturday, February 15, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: El Paso Public Library, Main Branch, Children’s Classroom; 501 N. Oregon
For more information: Contact Borderland Rainbow Center (915) 263-4623