Kawartha Lakes Pride Week drag events being met with community support
Library system seeing increase in request for more reading material that features diverse lifestyles
Family-friendly drag events across Canada, many hosted by local libraries, have been targeted by a deluge of hateful comments, CBC News is reporting – but the same can’t be said locally.
The national broadcaster is reporting that multiple threats during Pride month have occurred, prompting multiple police investigations and renewed concerns about the safety of the LGBTQ community.
But Rylee Rae, an organizer of Kawartha Lakes Pride Week which starts next week said there has been only one comment about keeping drag away from children “and it was challenged with love from our supportive community.”
“We have an amazing team of drag artists, some who work professionally with children as their day gig, who are partnering with Kawartha Lakes Library to host a Drag Queen Story Book time and a cozy reading tent at our Pride in the Park event on July 8,” says Rae.
The drag artists are bringing in a collection of LGBTQIA+ literature to share.
They will also be performing a family friendly version of their acts during the day while another version will be available for adults during the evening.
“We are doing our best to normalize and familiarize folks with drag culture and encourage people to express themselves in new and fun ways,” Ray said.
Marieke Junkin, manager programming and public services for Kawartha Lake Library, said the library has celebrated Pride in our branches “for several years now,” which includes their Storytime programs hosted by various members of Kawartha Lakes Pride.
“The response to these events has been very positive and we have received zero criticism for hosting such programs,” Junkin said.
She says library staff have also noticed an increase in the amount of families and caregivers who are actively requesting material for children that feature positive images and storylines of diverse lifestyles and non-traditional family structures.
“We have been pleasantly surprised to find these books then go on to circulate well at all 14 of our library branches.”
The collection of Pride material has been built by a demand from the community as a whole, she says, and not from any particular interest group.