A program scheduled for next month at one of the Evansville libraries brought out a big crowd Thursday night.
The Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library Board got an earful from people talking about the Drag Queen Story Hour.
The Drag Queen Story Hour has become a flashpoint for many in the community. The EVPL Board heard from both sides, with a lot of emotion.
The board had to move the regular meeting to a bigger room to fit everyone in and it was a standing room only crowd.
The board allowed 18 people four minutes each to speak. The Drag Queen Story Hour is just what it sounds like, drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, and it has been done in communities around the country.
Stories are picked by the library and the local drag queen volunteers are trained by library staff.
But many came out to voice their opposition to the event, saying it is inappropriate for children.
And there were others there saying it teaches acceptance and self-expression.
“Sex is not fluid at all and gender dysphoria and dress up does not make sex interchangeable. The problem is that this event will confuse small children.”
“I think there’s a belief that you’re gonna catch the gay, or catch the drag queen. That’s not how it works. I’m 51 years old. My mom was straight, my dad is straight, my siblings are straight. Being gay wasn’t on TV and there was not internet. It didn’t catch it, it’s who I am.”
Chuck Whobrey, the president of the EVPL Board, did not want to respond to any of the statements other than to say, “to hear each other’s voice and to talk with one another I think is important. And I think everyone treated each other with respect for the most part.”
The board did not take any action on the event, the event is still scheduled for February 23, 2019 at the North Park Library at 10 a.m.
The board has one more meeting before then, on February 14, 2019.
(This story was originally published on January 10, 2019)