Drag Queens will read to kids in Evansville

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Drag Queen Story Hour will go on as planned. The controversial children’s reading program has divided people across the Tri-State.

It’s popular across the country and will be making its first appearance in Evansville.

Evansville-Vanderburgh Public Library Board President, Chuck Whobrey confirmed it is still scheduled, even after a lively debate at the library board meeting Thursday night.

Library leaders said they weren’t sure the kind of response they would get when it was first added to the schedule. Officials said it is hard to gage how a community will react to potentially controversial subjects.

“You just kind of take a chance either way,” said library director Cyndee Landrum.

No matter which side you’re on, Landrum is glad to see so many people engaged.

“Any time we have sort of critical conversation, it’s really important,” she said. “I think that’s really something we’ve actually kind of lost in community.”

Evansville City Councilman Justin Elpers has been a vocal opponent to the program, calling it confusing for kids.

“I think that is totally inappropriate,” he said. “They’re targeting young children, I think they can find other ways if their mission is diversity and inclusion, there’s other ways to bring in young children.”

Supporters believe those who don’t approve should simply not send their kids, but Elpers said it’s not that easy.

“When you have tax dollars involved, you know people can voice their opinions, which I have,” said Elpers.

Whobrey said he is uncomfortable telling others they’re not allowed to have it. He said the program is on as scheduled.

“I was disappointed in the library board’s decision,” added Elpers.

Books are picked by the library and volunteer drag queens will be trained by library staff.

Landrum said the library is prepared for the possibility of protesters.

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This story was originally published on January 11, 2019

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