The Houston Public Library’s Drag Queen Storytime will occur off-site this month.
The program, which has occurred monthly at the Freed-Montrose Neighborhood Library since September 2017, will temporarily move to Kindred Montrose at 2515 Waugh Drive beginning Saturday, Feb. 23, to accommodate a growing number of children and their parents, according to the storytime’s organizer, Trent Lira.
“This is just temporary, and the [Houston Public Library] mobile bus and staff will be on site as usual,” Lira says. “We are exploring the possibilities of touring the storytime in a similar fashion for the time being as we shuffle through more ideas of how to permanently accommodate the storytime.”
This Saturday’s Valentine’s Day-themed Drag Queen Storytime will begin at 2 p.m. Hosted by Lira and his Space Kiddettes’ bandmate, Devin Will, the program will feature readings by Houston drag performers Miss City and Carmina Varvra.
Last month, the Houston Public Library hosted a second Drag Queen Storytime in response to the program’s increased popularity. In December, 40 children and their guardians were unable to attend the event due to fire code regulations. No one was sent away from the storytimes in January.
Kindred offers more space than the library venue, and Lira says there will be plenty of room for the usual number of about 150 guests.
“Safety and guest enjoyment is our top priority, and that’s why we have taken this route,” Lira says. “The City and library staff are very supportive and behind us in this venture [as we move] forward with our future plans.”
Members of the anti-LGBTQ group Mass Resistance again called for Houston officials to end Drag Queen Storytime at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 19. Doc Greene, an armed man detained at January’s storytime for violating a no-trespassing warning, was among those who spoke at the meeting. Houston LGBTQ community leaders also spoke to City Council in favor of the program.
Several groups that oppose Drag Queen Storytime planned to stand outside of the Freed-Montrose Library on Saturday, according to a Facebook Event created by Mass Resistance. It is unknown whether they will move their protest to Kindred.
LGBTQ-affirming groups participating in a Save Drag Queen Storytime counterprotest will be at Kindred to help guide families in as usual. An increased police presence is also expected for the event.