Drag queens dance, read to children in Michigan dorm
The drag queens read stories and danced to celebrate "National Coming Out Day" on Oct. 11.
Michigan State University hosted two drag queens at a campus dorm for "storytelling" with children.
Editor's note: This story first appeared on The Morning Watch. It has been republished with permission.
At Michigan State University, drag queens read to and danced in front of children, celebrating National Coming Out Day in a dorm with few student attendees.
On Oct. 11 in McDonel Hall, drag queens Asio Aviance and Caj Monet read stories to mostly children and parents, celebrating the LGBTQ experience. The event, “Time to Read: Drag Storytelling,” was hosted by the school's LGBTQ Resource Center, MSU Student Parent Resource Center, and MSU Writing Center.
The night began with a dramatic entrance as Aviance and Monet took the stage in colorful outfits. Aviance described drag as an expressive art form, comparing it to some historical examples.
"Whether it's jesters or shaman, every culture has this experience of getting into costume," Aviance said.
The children's books portrayed a message of LGBTQ pride, a love for flare and color, and the hardships people in drag culture face. Aviance's book described a Pride Month parade and celebration, saying "banners swaying and children playing… love, not hate...these people just got married… isn't that cool, marriage equality… this day in June we're all united."
Monet's story tells of a boy named Gilbert from Kansas who overcomes a gray and dull life. When he refuses to use a firearm in the military, Monet tells the children, "Everybody say BOO to guns. BOOO."
When Gilbert reaches San Francisco, Calif., "he could finally breathe, and be his colorful, sparkly, glittery self." But the city's flag "reminded Gilbert's community of evil." When he replaces it with a rainbow flag, Monet tells the children, "say good job, Gilbert! You're awesome Gilbert!"