Austin community weighs in on drag story time

(ABC 6 News) – In early June, the Austin community came together to discuss drag story time.

It’s program led by an area drag queen, Roxi Manacoochi, and it’s gathering a lot of attention. It was discussed at a library meeting after someone sent a letter to the board asking them to cancel the it altogether.

“These are stories that have been around for years and no one has had a problem with it,” Roxi said.

“Here in a traditional society like Austin, we thought this is not appropriate for children,” Edward Brady, member of Stand4Right said.

Roxi has been reading stories to kids in the community since 2019.

“It’s all family friendly, it’s a great time for anyone whether you’re four or 74,” she said.

Roxi picks the books that get read like “Julian is a Mermaid” “And Tango Makes Three.”

Both stories deal with themes of family and individuality. Stories Roxi Belives are right for kids.

“I love giving back to the community and creating that bridge for education where some smaller towns may not have that,” Roxi said.

But not everyone agrees. Edward Brady, of Austin, sent the letter below to the library.

He says it is formed on the behalf of the recently formed action group called STAND4RIGHT. A group they say is not against drag queens but are for the protection of young children in Austin who are “impressionable and easily influenced.”

“We ask the library to replace the drag queen story hour with senior citizens reading and we think it would be much more appropriate,” Brady said.

The letter goes on to say “As Christians we know that God loves all people, as do we: however, God cannot love all people’s behavior when it breaks his laws. One behavior that is a sin and offends God is men acting like women.”

“They’re trying to normalize the lifestyle that is abnormal to the people who are traditional in our thinking and our moral ethics,” Brady said.

Roxi disagrees. She tells ABC 6 NEWS when she came back to her hometown that’s when her performance bloomed. She wants the community to know that drag queens can have a seat at the table.

“I think that sometimes people forget that beneath all this hair and lashes and makeup is a person you would talk to on the street,” Roxi said.

For Library Director Julie Clinefelter, they decided to move forward with Drag Story Time.

“The library’s mission is connecting people to literacy, equity and community. When you walk in, you see something here that you can identify with,” Clinefelter said.

And that statement, you can agree or disagree with.

“This is something that some people in the community won’t want to partake of, and that’s fine. We hope we can find something that does align with their beliefs,” Clinefelter said.

“If it’s not right for your family, don’t bother coming. There are families out there that this means a lot to,” Roxi said.

“They’ve made their decision. A drag queen lifestyle is now a new normal and we’d like to go to a traditional normal,” Brady said.

Drag Story Time with Roxi will be held on July 27th. Edward Brady says Stand4Right members plan to protest outside the library the day the event takes place.