COLORADO SPRINGS – An event receiving nationwide attention made its way to Colorado Springs Saturday.
“Drag Queen Story Time” was held at the Penrose Library featuring local drag queen Sarah Bellum. The entertainer spent the afternoon reading to a crowd of kids and their parents.
But, the reading event did not come without controversy. Some parents were enthused about the opportunity for their children to be exposed to a different culture, as others were opposed to the story time.
“I’m opposed to it. I think it’s wrong,” said opponent Robert Moran.
“I like to make sure that my child feels included and is able to be around a community that makes them feel it’s okay to be who they are,” said parent Jennifer Hernandez.
While the story time brought people both for and opposed, drag queen Sarah Bellum said the event was about letting kids know they will always be supported.
“It’s bringing events like this that are letting kids know: if you need a place, if you need support, we’re here for you if, per se, your family isn’t, your friends aren’t,” said Bellum.
The book that was read, ‘A Day in The Life of Marlon Bundo,’ a parody-ish of the Mike Pence bunny.
“To throw in Mike Pence, I thought, was really, really out of line,” said Moran in response to one of the comments made during the reading.
Opponents argue story time for kids is no place for political rhetoric or social indoctrination. But, for parents like Hernandez, exposure was the main reason she was there.
“I would’ve come out to support it either way, but my child is just super, super excited about being able to see a drag queen so close.”
Bellum explained the importance of having events like this for kids growing up.
“Growing up as a kid, I didn’t really get experiences like this. I had to discover being LGBT, being anything, all on my own.” “My goal is to let them know that, if you think you’re gay or you think you’re straight, it doesn’t matter – there’s always an outlet for you.”
The Pikes Peak Library District allowed Drag Queen Story Time because it was not a library-sponsored event and was covered under their equal-opportunity policy regarding utilization of the meeting rooms.