#DragQueens

'Drag Queen Storytime' Wins In Texas Lawsuit

A federal judge ruled on Thursday that Christian activists attempting to stop Houston libraries from hosting “Drag Queen Storytime” lack standing to bring their suit, and so, the case was dismissed.

The program, which brings drag queens to children's story-telling hours in libraries, bookstores and schools, was begun over a year ago by the nonprofit RADAR Productions.

Drag Queen Storytime encourages children to suspend belief and explore their imagination while embracing a message of diversity and acceptance.

The American Library Association has fully endorsed these types of programs, in any iteration, as a right to intellectual freedom. They have even curated a collection of resources for individuals seeking to bring Drag Queen Storytime to their libraries or community spaces.

 

 

In October 2018, three men filed a lawsuit in protest against Houston Public Library Executive Director Rhea Lawson and Mayor Sylvester Turner.

In the filing, plaintiff Tex Christopher declared that “‘gay marriage’ is ‘fake marriage,’” and as a Houston taxpayer and library cardholder he has standing because the library spent money on books for the story hours and paid for flyers to promote them.

More from CourtHouseNews:

U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal dismissed their lawsuit Thursday for lack of standing and failure to state a viable First Amendment Establishment Clause claim.

Rosenthal said the men could not prove the threshold issue that they had been injured by the story hour because it’s unclear from their pleadings that any of them attended the events.

“The plaintiffs assert the very opposite: they purposefully avoided ‘Drag Queen Storytime’ because of its alleged immorality and potential to harm their children. Instead of witnessing the event, the plaintiffs ‘researched [it] online,’” Rosenthal wrote in a 19-page order.

For context, it's worth noting that one of the plaintiffs, Chris Sevier, has previously filed lawsuits claiming if men can marry men, then he should be able to marry his laptop computer.

Christopher says he plans on appealing to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Harmonica reads at the @nypl #dragqueenstoryhour #dqsh

A post shared by dragqueenstoryhour (@dragqueenstoryhour) on

 

(h/t CourtHouseNews)

First Trailer For 'RuPaul's Drag Race Holi-Slay Spectacular'

We’ve got just the thing to spice up your Monday as VH1 drops this video teaser for the upcoming RuPaul’s Drag Race Holi-Slay Spectacular.

The holiday special (set to air December 7) will feature RPDR alumni Shangela, Latrice Royale, Eureka O’Hara, Jasmine Masters, Kim Chi, Mayhem Miller, Trixie Mattel and Sonique, all competing for the coveted title of “Drag Race Christmas Queen.”

The quick video reveals members of the Pit Crew dressed as sexy reindeer offering some prancing of their own with Kim Chi and Trixie Mattel; Ross Matthews as an adorable ‘Elf on a shelf;' and Eureka enjoying a big package.

Who doesn't love big packages?

“It’s Christmas so we’re laughing and having fun…. Trixie is excited to open presents and can’t be bothered, and Shangela is posting Christmas Cards on the wall,” Mama Ru recently told EW. “Everyone wants to have fun, knowing it’s just one episode for a holiday, but the competition is real.”

Tune in to see the queens lip-sync to music from RuPaul’s two holiday albums, Slay Belles and Christmas Party, as well as choreography by Todrick Hall.

The hour-long one-off special will also offer previews from the upcoming RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars 4.

’Tis the season for slaying, so hit the play button below. And tune in December 7 at 8/7c on VH1.

 

 

(h/t EW)

RuPaul Makes Animated Debut On 'The Simpsons' This Sunday

You know you’ve arrived at the pinnacle of pop culture when you get that call to guest star on an episode of The Simpsons.

This Sunday, Emmy Award-winner RuPaul makes his animated debut on the long running animated series as “Queen Chante.”

FOX released a quick video tease of the upcoming episode along with some clues about the storyline.

From what we know so far, Marge makes yet another attempt at finding a successful career, this time as a Tupperware salesperson. 

But to get an edge on her competition, Marge’s hairdresser, Julio, suggests selling the plastic storage products in drag. Apparently, drag queens sell the most Tupperware - who knew?

Showrunner Al Jean told Entertainment Weekly in a recent interview, “This is true - most successful Tupperware sellers are drag queens.”

Dang, queens are good at everything!

Also in the mix, Homer makes HIS drag debut complete with full-on runway strut adorned in a blond wig and black dress. 

How the animated series has gone 30 seasons without Homer in drag almost boggles the mind.

Plus, not only do we get Mama Ru in the drag-tastic episode, but RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 3 winner, Raja, makes a cameo as herself as well.

In an Instagram post, Raja shared the cartoon image writing, “The Simpsons was a huge part of my childhood, being asked to be on an episode was surreal and mind blowing, to say the least.”

Watch the teaser below. And remember, Mama Ru’s “Queen Chante” will come to slay this Sunday at 8/7c on FOX.

 

 

 

(h/t NewNowNext)

Is Netflix's 'Super Drags' Too Much?

Like every other RuPaul’s Drag Race fan, I was excited to finally sit down and watch the new animated Netflix series Super Drags. The show is a Brazilian creation that has been dubbed in English with some of the superstars from Drag Race. The show is a The Powerpuff Girls meets Charlie’s Angels meets Adult Swim. The show is definitely meant for adults because of the language and sexually suggestive content. Voicing the characters are Drag Race’s Shangela (Donizete/Scarlet), Ginger Minj (Patrick/Lemon), Trixie Mattel (Champagne), and Willam (Lady Eliza)—but even these notable queens can save Super Drags from being a super letdown.

The show is focused on a group of three department store employs who lead double lives as crime-fighting drag queens (Scarlet, Lemon, Safira) and take commands and guidance from a fabulous Bosley-esque persona, Champagne. The team fights crime in Belt Buckle Bay where they foil the plans of their neurotic nemesis Lady Eliza who seeks to suck the highlight energy from all LGBTQ people in order to become the ultimate diva. The show also features a pop superstar, Goldiva, who is a statuesque glamazon oddly reminiscent of RuPaul.

It all sounds great, right? Who knows, but it only took me a few minutes into the first episode to get completely lost in the excessive dick jokes, fast-paced wit that is never given a chance to land, and hyper sensory visuals that don’t quite do it for me. By the third episode I was losing that lip sync battle.

Sure, it can be funny to see an animated character playing with a dildo or gratuitous innuendo flung back and forth, but after a dozen of these back to back it gets a little old. The dialogue includes every possible phrase in the Drag Race dictionary and overloads on gay culture vernacular beyond belief. Super Drags is meant to be fun, I get it, but it perpetuates every stereotype within reach and it is a missed opportunity for a great LGBTQ animated series. No T, no shade.

I know, maybe I should let Super Drags feel its oats. But if it’s your cup of tea, head over to Netflix and drink it up, hunties.

 

 

 

Why are Drag Queen Storytimes Causing Lawsuits?

We’ve all heard of the drag queen story times that are all the craze in libraries, bookstores, and other community spaces across the nation. Someone of you may have attended one, perhaps with the children in your life, as an introduction to alternative forms of storytelling and teaching of inclusion, respect, and love for all.

Being a librarian myself, this type of programming was something that our library NEEDED to have because of demographics in Santa Ana, California. So after six month of planning with our community partner The Frida Cinema, in February of this 2018, our library hosted our first Drag Queen Storytime that featured two local queens, Isabella Xochitl and Kunda Couture. The event was a fairytale-themed, bilingual performance that welcomed over 200 visitors. Among them, however, was a group of people who were infiltrating the event to sneak photos that would then turn up on their websites and social media attacking our performers, our staff, and our youth. They called our staff ‘perverted’ and said we were ‘corrupting children’ with our program that did nothing but spread love and acceptance of all people.

The ‘protestors’ were part of several religious groups in Orange County (one of the most notoriously conservative areas in the U.S.) who had begun attacks on our event a month prior to the event date. I won’t even acknowledge their name, because they don’t deserve it. Online folks called for individuals to rally together at council meetings and on the day of the event in opposition to this ‘heinous’ and ‘disturbing’ event. Luckily for us, we were able to take enough precautions to still have a successful event, the first of its kind in Orange County. But no other event has occurred since nor are there plans for another since we had some collateral damage that raised some red flags.

This type of behavior is not isolated, unfortunately, Drag Queen storytimes, or story hours, have been experiencing a great deal of pushback—primarily from religious groups that feel their rights to religious freedom have been violated. But let’s call it what it is—homophobia.

The latest case of this is occurring at one of the largest library systems in the nation, Houston Public Library. According to Chron, a group of anti-gay protestors gathered outside of the federal courthouse on Friday to proclaim that they had filed a lawsuit against the Houston Public Library because of their recent city-sponsored Drag Queen Story Hours claiming their freedom of religion has been violated. The event was advertised for patrons of all ages at the Freed-Montrose Neighborhood branch.

The group has been very active in the opposition of marriage equality, gender neutral restrooms, and are now claiming that the City of Houston is recklessly involved in the “LGBT doctrine”. The lawsuit claims that taxpayer dollars should not be used for such activities since it would never host a “man-woman marriage storytelling hour”.

According to HoustonPress, Youth Services Manager Kallie Benes said:

The goal of the program is to instill a sense of love and acceptance in our children and encourage them to be true to themselves.

One of our staff members was presented [this idea] in an outreach program, and so we followed up, and they were looking to host it in the neighborhood.

That’s part of our job — to stay abreast of the needs of our community. When they ask us for programs, we look at how we can meet their needs and make sure they’re satisfied with the services.

While the concepts that exist in libraries are generally inspired by others, Drag Queen Story Hour is a specific event created by Michelle Tea and RADAR Productions. According to their site, “RADAR Productions is a San Francisco-based non-profit that produces literary happenings around the Bay Area and beyond.  RADAR gives voice to innovative queer and outsider writers and artists whose work authentically reflects the LGBTQA community’s diverse experiences.”

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Harmonica reads at the @nypl #dragqueenstoryhour #dqsh

A post shared by dragqueenstoryhour™️ (@dragqueenstoryhour) on

 

The American Library Association has fully endorsed these types of programs, in any iteration, as a right to intellectual freedom. They have even curated a collection of resources for individuals seeking to bring Drag Queen Storytimes to their libraries or community spaces.

ALA asserts:

ALA, through its actions and those of its members, is instrumental in creating a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive society. This includes a commitment to combating marginalization and underrepresentation within the communities served by libraries through increased understanding of the effects of historical exclusion.

See why I love being a librarian? Because the library IS open!

Your drag queen event doesn’t have to be exactly like a Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH), but the mission behind your efforts toward inclusion are the same.

DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real.

For a list of Drag Queen Story Hours happening soon, or for information, check out their website.

Let’s continue to spread the love of literacy and creativity through glamorous and fabulous drag queens. I hope you will join the dragvolution by producing, attending, or supporting events of this nature in your community and beyond.

h/t: Chron, HoustonPress, RADAR Productions, American Library Association, DQSH,

 

Fab Drag-Themed Musical 'Kinky Boots' Announces Closing Date After 6 Year Run

After six Tony Awards, a Drama Desk Award, a Grammy Award and many more honors, the hit Broadway musical Kinky Boots has announced the production will bring down the curtain for the last time April 9, 2019, notching 2,507 performances at the Al Hirschfeld Theater.

The musical, which tells the world “You change the world when you change your mind,” has been celebrated on the Great White Way, in London, across the United States and around the world.

“The ideal big Broadway experience!” - The New York Observer

“This smash-hit struts its stuff with sparkle, stilettos and heart! - Time Out New York

Here's the synopsis via the official website:

Based on the 2005 film and inspired by a true story, KINKY BOOTS follows Charlie Price (Tony nominee STARK SANDS), an aspiring young businessman who is forced to give up his dreams of living the London city life in order to save his late father’s family business in Northern England. When Charlie suddenly inherits his father’s bankrupt shoe factory, he finds unexpected inspiration in the form of Lola (BILLY PORTER) a fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos. As Charlie and Lola work to turn the factory around, this unlikely pair finds that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible... and discovers that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world.

From the beginning of the show’s genesis, the creators' message to audiences has been to learn to not only accept others for who they are, but to learn to love ourselves.

The show guide for Kinky Boots, provided to school groups who attend the show, underscores the importance of children learning to “let me be me.”

If you look at all of the influential people in the world, many of the most spectacular people were probably also highly unique individuals when they were younger. Could you imagine Lady Gaga at your high school prom or havingMark Zuckerberg sit at your lunch table? What’s funny is that what is often considered cool in school actually becomes average in the real world, whereas those students, who don’t quite fit in, may turn out to be shining stars when they grow-up.

Playing the outrageous drag queen with a heart, out actor Billy Porter's stunning performance as "Lola" won him a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award and a Grammy.

Porter's star continues to rise thanks to his breakout role in the acclaimed FX series Pose (which boasted the largest LGBTQ cast in the history of television), and will be featured the new season of American Horror Story: Apocalypse.

Porter has also used his elevated celebrity status to raise his voice on behalf of the LGBTQ community every chance he gets.

Throughout the show’s run, stars from all corners of the celebrity spectrum have lined up to don those sexy, thigh-high red boots.

The list of past/present stars includes out pansexual lead singer of Panic at the Disco! Brendon Urie, American Idol winner David Cook, out lead singer for Neon Trees’ Tyler Glenn, TV host Wayne Brady, YouTube star Todrick Hall, out pop star Jake Shears, Dancing with the Stars' Mark Ballas, and Grammy Award winner Kirstin Maldonado of Pentatonix.

“When you’re watching something that is so based in joy, you just can’t deny it,” gushed Glenn when he joined the Broadway cast.

“When we first set out to make this show, we never could have imagined the success it would have here on Broadway and around the world,” said Harvey Fierstein (book) and Cyndi Lauper (composer) in a joint statement. “We speak on behalf of the entire company when we say how grateful we are to the fans who have embraced our work across four continents, and counting!”

“I’ll never forget the very first performance of this show, back in Chicago in the fall of 2012,” shared Tony Award winning director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell. “It was one of those magical nights in the theater, when the material connects with its audiences in exactly the way you hope for. It felt like a gift from the theater gods then, and it still does to this day.”

“In the years since, we have witnessed attitudes towards gender non-conformity start to change all across America in ways we couldn’t have begun to imagine in 2012,” Mitchell added. “It’s never easy saying farewell to a beloved production, but knowing that Kinky Boots is leaving a more accepting world than the one it was born into is hugely gratifying for everyone involved.”

If you haven’t seen the show yet, head down to the Al Hirschfeld Theater before April 9.

(h/t The Hollywood Reporter)

Neil Patrick Harris Will Reprise Tony Award-Winning Drag Role At WIGSTOCK

For 18 years, from 1985 to 2003, WIGSTOCK celebrated drag culture in fabulous style.

And now, Tony Award winner Neil Patrick Harris, husband David Burtka and the iconic Lady Bunny are bringing WIGSTOCK back to New York City on Saturday, September 1.

The day-long drag festival will take place at the fab new Pier 17 Rooftop in New York City’s Seaport District beginning at 2PM and continuing on until 10PM.

In an Instagram video, Harris announced he will be reprising his 2014 Tony Award winning role of “Hedwig” from Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Also schedule to appear are Broadway performers Alex Newell (Once On This Island), Peppermint (Head Over Heels), as well as Justin Vivian Bond, Lypsinka, Taylor Mac, and Varla Jean Merman.

Plus, a veritable universe of drag performers including RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni Alaska Thunderfuck, Bianca Del Rio, Bob the Drag Queen, Jinkx Monsoon, Willam and many, many more.

For more info and to purchase tickets, click here.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit Gay Men’s Health Crisis.

Check out Neil Patrick Harris’ announcement video below with his adorable son who reminds Neil that there will be "wig cannons" which will shoot wigs at the crowd so all can dress up. #LOL

 

 

Abrasive Pastor Disrupts Drag Queen Story Hour!

Abrasive Pastor Disrupts Drag Queen Story Hour!


This Isn’t The First Time He’s Publicly Harassed Children!

#GROAN! Frequently on my social media, I’ve encountered many acquaintances and beyond speaking of Drag Queen Story Hour. The event, created in San Francisco by Michelle Tea and Radar Productions, does just as the title of their event: Drag Queen read children’s books to give queer children role models and imagine themselves in a world where they are accepted and allowed the freedom to be themselves. Officially, the library has been open for a year – and we’ve been there to cover the Queens’ giving back to the children from the start. While the event is harmless, an Evangelist Pastor recently showed up at the Story Hour to spread his hatred.


In a video released on Facebook from NowThisPolitics, Pastor Dave Grisham of Last Frontier Evangelism. I tried to do some sleuthing for you and discovered Grisham lives in Anchorage, Alaska. On June 9th, he boasts in a public Facebook post claiming he was the first ministry in history to directly confront homosexuals in a public library. He claims the homosexuals are “coming after the children.” Check out his cringe worthy post below:



This may not be the first time you’ve seen Grisham. In December 2016, Grisham went into a Texas mall and screamed to children that Santa is not real. His public, unhinged rant – obviously terrifying children – can be rewatched here. Who is the person truly coming for children? A kind Drag Queen reading a book or someone crushing their dreams in a public space!? This guy is a lunatic!


Grisham invaded a ticketed event (the Story Hour) by announcing his name – immediately followed by “NO!” But, of course, he can not mind his own business. He continues a rant stating there is no such thing as transgender and Drag Queens. He’s clearly confused that Queens and transgender individuals are completely opposite. One is a character or a job, while the other is an actual human being. The organizers are fast to kick him out, although Grisham declares he has a right to disrupt the event. The video is so terrifying. This guy invades a completely silent, peaceful room to spread his hate. This is not okay.


Check out the disturbing video below:

 

 


Don’t forget you can check out the many events being held by Story Hour here. Just, maybe don’t show up spewing the hate in your heart.

Levi's Pays Tribute To LGBTQ Activists For Pride Campaign

A political activist, a DJ, an artist - for more than 25 years, Juanita MORE! has been a fixture in the drag world. 

MORE! hosts fundraisers for LGBTQ organizations, and in 2017, she organized a march that brought around 10,000 people together. 

For Levi’s 2018 Pride campaign, the denim giant shares her story and how she found her identity through drag.

"When I was growing up all I did was artistic things. I wanted to paint. I wanted to cook. At that time, it just didn't feel like the direction to go, and I had no one to inspire me to do that until I started doing drag and I realized I'd been living my life as an artist, but I didn't believe in it.

"I can't imagine how many drag queens are in every city. I think if I was to have my own TV show, I would get in a little truck, and drive to every rural city and find the one gay bar and the one drag queen, and interview her - because she's important to me."

Levi’s advocacy for the LGBTQ community is nothing new. Dating back to the ‘80s, the casual fashion company helped open the first AIDS clinic in the world (at San Francisco General), and continues today with their support of organizations that stand up for equality, such as the Harvey Milk and Stonewall Community Foundations.

"Our 2018 Pride campaign is about being proud, bold, and most of all, being yourself," says Levi's in a statement.

Check out Juanita MORE! in the video below, and make sure you check out her Levi's fashion designs ;)

#HappyPride2018

 

 

You can find a longer version of Levi’s 2018 Pride campaign by clicking here.

 

Netflix To Sashay With Animated Series, "Super Drags"

Netflix dropped a teaser video today to announce the streaming service is set to sashay into the “drag” races with it’s own new animated series, Super Drags.

The five episode-series, scheduled for the second half of 2018, will chronicle the adventures of superhero drag queens.

From the YouTube description: “During the day, they work in a department store and deal with their uptight bitchy boss. By night, they tighten up their corsets and transform into the baddest SUPER DRAGS in town, ready to combat shade and rescue the world’s glitter from the evil villains. Get ready, because the SUPER DRAGS are going deeper than you think.”

Brazilian website CosmoNerd has more details (via Google translation):

Super Drags is another powerful and proud addition to the diversity of Brazilian originals from Netflix and brings us the adventures of three young people with a super normal life ... during the day, Patrick, Donny and Ramon work in a department store. With annoying customers and a picky boss. At night, they release their inner divas to become Lemon Chiffon, Cran's Sapphire and Crimson Scarlet: three incredibly fabulous Super Drags who have been recruited to gather the LGBT community and spread glitter in the world.”

Super Drags. Super heroes. Wondering if a certain "Super Model of the world" might make an appearance...?

Watch the tease below and let us know what you think in the comments.

 

 

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