drag story hour
Phoenix College Hosts Drag Queen Story Hour With Banned Books For Children

October 8, 2023

By Corinne Murdock |

Phoenix College, the flagship institution for Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD), hosted a drag queen story hour for all ages on Tuesday featuring banned books.

Drag Story Hour AZ held the event. The banned books read were “My Princess Boy” by Cheryl Kilodavis, which advocates for the normalization of gender nonconformity; “Neither” by Airlie Anderson, which advocates for the normalization of nonbinary and transgender children; “Prince & Knight” by Daniel Haack, which advocates for the normalization of same-sex relationships; and “Red: A Crayon’s Story” by Michael Hall, which advocates for LGBTQ+ normalization. 

In an email, Phoenix College described the story hour as a “Freedom Read” inclusive opportunity to build community. The college hosted the story hour in celebration of Banned Books Week. 

“Drag story hours offer inclusive environments for community building and informal learning through a familiar (and fun!) literacy activity,” read the email. “Beyond asking that you encourage our students (and their families!) to attend the event, we warmly welcome your participation.” 

A community activist and parent opposed to drag queen story hours for children posted that he attempted to obtain tickets for the event, but was restricted from doing so. 

Drag Story Hour AZ also lists other banned books on its Bookshop page. In addition to the books read on Tuesday, the organization recommended the following LGBTQ+ advocacy books for children and their families: “Worm Loves Worm,” “10,000 Dresses,” “Antonio’s Card,” “I Am Jazz,” “When Aidan Became a Brother,” “The Boy Who Cried Fabulous,” “Pink Is For Boys,” “This Day in June,” “And Tango Makes Three,” “Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag,” “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver Presents: A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo,” “Queer, 2nd Edition: The Ultimate LGBTQ Guide for Teens,” “Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World,” “Real Queer America: LGBT Stories From Red States,” “A Queer History of the United States,” “Parenting Beyond Pink & Blue: How to Raise Your Kids Free of Gender Stereotypes,” “The Gender Creative Child: Pathways For Nurturing and Supporting Children Who Live Outside Gender Boxes,” “Helping Your Transgender Teen: A Guide For Parents,” “This Is a Book For Parents of Gay Kids: A Question & Answer Guide to Everyday Life,” and “Sissy: A Coming-Of-Gender Story.”

The organization’s founder and president, David Boyles, is an English professor at Arizona State University (ASU). As reported previously, Boyles has been featured in several events promoting drag entertainment through local libraries and the Arizona Humanities. 

Boyles has held that LGBTQ+ storytelling to minors remains important because it “counter[s] the erasure of queer stories,” and advocates for their attendance at drag shows as well. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

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