Return of Drag Story Time to Kelowna library sparks opposing petition

Petition against drag event

A Kelowna resident has started an online petition against a drag event that is a few weeks away.

Laurie Baird started the petition on change.org against Drag Story Time at the Downtown Kelowna Library, scheduled for Jan. 28.

"Drag queen events/adult entertainment is not appropriate for young children regardless of the claim to be age appropriate. Drag queens and strippers are not appropriate role models for young children who tend to idolize any live entertainer that they meet," Baird wrote. "Children after meeting these performers may want to follow them on Facebook/Instagram and some of the photos and videos posted by these entertainers are not appropriate as they contain sexual content."

According to the Okanagan Regional Library's website the Community Reader Story Time Series is a new program at the library that aims to bring diverse and inclusive programming to communities.

"We believe everyone deserves the chance to hear and see themselves reflected in the stories we share, and we're so excited to have Freida Whales lead this inaugural event," said the event announcement.

Okanagan Regional Library CEO Danielle Hubbard says the ORL "strives to represent all members of our communities."

The event is billed as all-ages and appropriate for the entire family.

"After travelling BC doing story times, I'm excited to bring entertainment, positivity, and diversity back to the reading program in my hometown again," presenter Freida Whales said.

On Saturday, a group of protesters was met by hundreds of counter-protesters at the Coquitlam public library for a Drag Queen Story Time event for kids. RCMP officers had to be called to keep the peace.

Back in December a small group of protesters showed up at DunnEnzies in the Mission to protest a drag show that was part of a toy and food drive for the Salvation Army in Kelowna. Kelowna RCMP was called to the scene and the demonstrators dispersed.

The online petition in Kelowna has over 600 signatures.

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