(Katelynn Richardson) – Nevada’s Clark County Library District spent over $4,000 on a Pride Day event featuring a “drag queen storytime.”
“Family Pride Day 2022 celebrates LGBTQIA families in this fun, inclusive event!” the description says. “Featuring a drag queen storytime and a musical performance, the event will also host a zine workshop, crafts, a balloon artist, face painter, and community partners.”
The listing states that the Oct. 15 event was suitable for babies, preschoolers, and toddlers.
According to Las Vegas-Clark County Library District Senior Public Communications Specialist Lisa Jacob, a “professional library staff member,” presented the drag queen storytime to “ensure that educational standards” similar to other storytimes were met.
Along with drag queen storytime, the Clark County Library hosted a performance by Lindz Amer, author of “Rainbow Parenting” and host of the YouTube series “Queer Kid Stuff,” which teaches gender, sexuality, and social justice ideas to kids.
LVCCLD paid Amer $3,000 for a 45-minute performance. Another $150 was paid for the 30-minute drag queen storytime, $112.50 for a face painter, $500 for a Zine workshop, and $500 for two balloon artists.
In total, the three-hour event cost $4,262.50. Jacob said it was held to support LGBTQIA+ History Month.
“As a reflection of our community, the Library District strives to offer diverse programming that appeals to a wide range of customer interests and celebrates differing cultural and social values,” Jacob told The Center Square. “It is common for Library District staff to generate programs in support of federally recognized heritage months, as well as programs for specific groups such as women, veterans, LGBTQIA+, and seniors.”
“The Library District does not subscribe to any cultural, religious, or political views, and we welcome church groups, political meetings, and programs that appeal to a broad cross-section of Southern Nevada residents,” Jacob added.
Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom attended the event and posted a photo of himself posing with two children and a drag performer on Twitter.
Local parent’s group, My Children’s Advocate, organized a protest outside the library.
“While we were not well received by the dozen of parents attending the event at the library, we have gotten hundreds of messages of encouragement and praise from parents,” Lorena, a member of My Children’s Advocate, told The Center Square.
Lorena says the group has “no problem” with such performances for adults, but they believe it is “100% inappropriate” for children.
“Drag queens, adult men dressed as strippers with theatrical makeup and attire, exhibit overt queer sexual behavior that confuses and disturbs the innocence of children,” she said. “The problem is that the event is created for children, with the added insult to injury of it being taxpayer funded.”
Clark County held its first Family Pride Day and drag queen storytime in June 2018. Other similar storytime events have been hosted since then.
The library district hosted multiple “Teen Drag Workshops” at Windmill Library last October.
Katelynn Richardson | The Center Square