Fitchburg State University Hosts First Drag Story Hour



LGBTQ+ Children’s Books on Display in the Library; via The Point

Meaghan Walsh, Staff Writer, Layout Manager

As part of LGBTQ+ History Month, Fitchburg State University hosted its first Drag Story Hour on October 19, 2022. The storytime was held at 4:00 p.m. in the Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library and was sponsored by the LGBTQ+ History Month and Fitchburg State’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA). 


As explained in a foreword to the event, Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) was started in 2015 by author Michelle Tea in San Francisco. These events are usually geared toward children aged 3-11 and are hosted by drag queens who read children’s books that focus on LGBTQ+ themes. 


DQSH events are often met with opposition from far-right extremist groups. This is usually because these groups’ ideologies don’t mesh with DQSH, as they often do not agree with the concept of drag queens or LGBTQ+ themes in children’s books. These groups will protest at libraries that host DQSH events, with these protests often getting violent.


The two queens who read during the drag story hour on Wednesday were Nikita LeFemme and Victoria Obvious. They each read one story. Nikita LeFemme, who has done many drag story hours in the past, explained that white supremacist groups have protested some of the events she has read at, to the point that an undercover police presence was deemed necessary. While no one was protesting the story hour at the library on the 19th, an officer was present for the duration of the event. 


‘Be Amazing: A History of Pride’ by Desmond Is Amazing and illustrated by Dylan Glynn, and was the first story read by Nikita Lefemme. Desmond is Amazing is a drag kid and LGBTQ+ teen advocate who published their own book in June 2020. In ‘Be Amazing’, Desmond brings the reader through the history of the LGBTQ+ community, while encouraging the reader to be themselves.  


The second story was read by Victoria Obvious and was called ‘The Hips On The Drag Queen Go Swish Swish Swish’. The book is by Lil Miss Hot Mess and illustrated by Olga de Dios. It’s a nursery rhyme book that plays on ‘The Wheels On The Bus, and it follows a drag queen who performs her routine. By the end of the book, Victoria Obvious had everybody in the audience singing along with her as she read.


While ‘Be Amazing: A History of Pride’ is not available to be checked out of the Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library yet, ‘The Hips On The Drag Queen Go Swish Swish Swish’ and other LGBTQ+ children’s books that are currently on display are available for check out at this very moment.