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Drag Storytime – VERA! reads to preschoolers

Drag king VERA! (center) dramatizes stories, with reader-in-training Lyra (R) and Drag Story Hour coordinator Baylee (L, obscured)
Peter Stickney
/
still from KPFA video
Drag king VERA! (center) dramatizes stories. With reader-in-training Lyra (R) and Drag Story Hour coordinator Baylee (L, obscured)

Should drag story hours be banned? With so much fuss, we thought you'd like to judge for yourselves. So we bring some to you! Here’s #3 in our series.

Ban drag!? With all the fuss over drag story hours – people in audacious attire and magical makeup reading to young children – we thought you’d like to hear and see some for yourselves. So you can consider whether they should be banned, as some politicians demand.

No need to sneak into your local library’s kiddies’ room though, we’ve brought some to you! This month Out in the Bay presents KPFA Radio’s 3-part Drag Storytime series, produced by me and two KPFA colleagues.

For our third installment, we caught up with drag king VERA! at Montclair Community Play Center in Oakland. VERA! reads their favorite, Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian, to preschoolers and parents. You can see VERA! read on KPFA’s YouTube page.

The book is among the most-banned kids’ picture books in the USA. We also hear from a parent and teacher, and from Drag Story Hour‘s S.F. Bay Area chapter program coordinator about the war on drag and about safety for drag readers.

KPFA’s Drag Storytime Series was produced by KPFA Radio reporters E.A. and Eric Jansen (aka Cinnamon Sugarshoes) and KPFA videographer Peter Stickney. Thank you KPFA for letting us post this series!

Please help us keep bringing queer air to your ears. Out in the Bay is an independent non-profit production. We receive no funds from podcast platforms, NPR, KALW, nor other radio stations that air Out in the Bay weekly. Your gift will help keep LGBTQIA+ voices and stories coming to you and others who might not be able to give. (Donate tabs on our website will take you to a Media Alliance interface. Media Alliance is our non-proft 501(c)3 fiscal agent. Your gift will be earmarked for Out in the Bay.)

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Eric Jansen is a long-time broadcaster and print journalist. A former news anchor, producer and reporter at KQED FM, San Francisco; KLIV AM, San Jose; and Minnesota Public Radio, Eric's award-winning reports have been heard on many NPR programs and PRI's Marketplace. His print work has been in The Mercury News, The Business Journal, and LGBTQ magazines Genre and The Advocate, among other publications. He co-produced the June 2007 PBS documentary Why We Sing!, about LGBTQ choruses and their role in the civil rights fight.