Drag performers will return to lead monthly story time events at Bywater's Alvar Library in 2019, starting this month.
Drag Queen Story Hour events began to take shape in 2015 and similar events have emerged around the U.S., finding a natural home among New Orleans' costumed characters and pounds of glitter and sequins and the city's thriving drag performance scene. Algiers' Hubbell Library and the Children's Resource Library on Napoleon Avenue also hosted Drag Queen Story Hour events. The Alvar branch hosts draq queen story time on the third Saturday of every month.
In Lafayette, a similar event led to the resignation of the library board's president and a lawsuit, in which the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana argued the policy infringes on patrons' constitutionally protected right to freedom of speech. Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux's threats to shut down the event made national headlines, and after it moved to another location, it was postponed indefinitely — meanwhile, the New Orleans events drew crowds of families of young children, eager to listen.
On Saturday afternoon, the Alvar Library in New Orleans was packed with gung-ho little patrons who listened to drag queens Vanessa Carr and Bl…
On Jan. 3, Lafayette Public Library officials agreed to lift the ban on drag queen story time events following the ACLU's challenge of the suit from conservative Christian groups Warriors for Christ and Special Forces of Liberty. The library also will stop requiring patrons to sign a pledge that they won't use the library to host similar events.
“The library's unjust and discriminatory ban targeted LGBTQ Louisianans and violated our clients’ First Amendment rights,” said ACLU of Louisiana legal director Katie Schwartzmann in a statement. “This is welcome news for our clients and everyone in Lafayette who will once again be able to use library facilities without being unfairly interrogated or censored by library officials.”
Drag queen story time returns to the Alvar Library (913 Alvar St.) starting at 1 p.m. Jan. 19, then returns March 16, April 20, May 18, June 22, July 20, Aug. 24, Sept. 21, Oct. 19, Nov. 23 and Dec. 21.
The rift among the factions on either side the Drag Queen Story Time controversy was laid bare this week, and it looks irreconcilable.