Drag queen reading hour draws controversy at Upstate library

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The Mom’s Liberal Happy Hour of South Carolina says a story hour at an Upstate library promotes kindness, confidence and tolerance. But some parents are concerned about the event. 

“We are diving into how children feel on the inside and if that’s how they feel they can see that they have a valid person to look up to,” Rylee said. 

Rylee has been doing drag for six years.

Growing up, Rylee said she didn’t have anyone to look up to. That’s why she is taking part in the Drag Queen Story Hour at Five Forks library branch in Simpsonville.

The event has taken place in cities around the country.

Some Upstate parents are concerned with the event. 

“There is a sexual side to drag queens, to what they’re trying to teach, and I just think any type of conversation like that…drag queens or not is inappropriate for this age,” Julianna Watson said.

The event is put on by the Mom’s Liberal Happy Hour of South Carolina.

They say the event promotes kindness, confidence and tolerance.

Rylee says there will be a difference between a drag queen at the club and one at the library. 

“I think people think we are going to be bringing our Saturday night life into the library and we are gonna put on like a fabulous drag show, but that’s definitely a misconception,” Rylee said. 

Julianna Watson has two children. She doesn’t feel comfortable taking her children to the story hour.

“No matter whose kids they are these kids are just too young,” Watson said.

Rylee disagrees she believes it’s best at a young age to show children diversity.

“No one is there to push an agenda on anyone. No one is there to persuade people or to recruit people,” Rylee said. 

Greenville County Library System issued this statement about the event:

We are receiving a mixture of questions, complaints, and positive comments from the public about a drag queen story hour at the Five Forks Branch of the Greenville County Library System.  

This event is not sponsored or promoted by the Greenville County Library System. It is a reserved use of a public meeting space within the Meeting Spaces Use Policy and Regulations established by the Greenville County Library System’s Board of Trustees.

Users interested in reserving a public meeting space must complete an application and agree to comply with the Meeting Spaces Use Policy and Regulations which can be obtained from any Library location and online at https://www.greenvillelibrary.org/meeting-spaces.

All Library meeting spaces are available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of the individuals or groups requesting their use. Approved use of Library meeting spaces does not constitute endorsement of the applicant’s viewpoints.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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