Account Login/Registration

Access KelownaNow using your Facebook account, or by entering your information below.




Privacy Policy

VIDEO: Battle brewing over Drag Queen Story Time in Kelowna

Drag Queen Freida Whales' performance at this weekend's story time is being overshadowed by the story unfolding outside the library.

Duelling petitions are circulating over the event and now the two sides are gearing up for opposing rallies before the event.

Tyson Cook is looking forward to this Saturday's Drag Story Time at the Downtown Kelowna Library, presenting as Freida Whales.

"I love doing Drag Story Time. I've always loved working with kids," said Cook.

"And I love seeing the joy and excitement on the kids' faces when I read them a good book."

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

He points out that most children don't even see the gender issue.

"They just think I'm a fun, crazy character," Cook said. "I never really bring up that I'm a drag queen during the story time."

But there are people who would be happy to see it shut down.

"I think drag queens tend to be sexual and it tends to be a form of entertainment for adults," said Laurie Baird.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

After her first petition against the event was taken down by, she started another on Action4Canada.

" I don't think they're a good role model for children," said Baird.

She argues the social media of drag queens tends to have content that's inappropriate for kids.

"I'm very concerned that children are going to get access to that social media and they're going to be very disturbed by the sexual nature of it," Baird said.

And the petition targets the man behind the Frieda Whales character.

"Let’s take a look at Drag man, Tyson Cook," reads the new petition.

It contains a video in which Whales is the villain in horror movie scenarios.

<who> Photo Credit: YouTube Freida Whales

"It's almost like a murder is being committed, and then there's almost a reference to cannibalism," said Baird. "To think a child might get access to that really really concerns me."

Tyson Cook laughs off the criticism, pointing out that it was just a character role, just like a Hollywood movie actor might take on.

"Just like any other performer I obviously do act", said Cook. "In that video, I was acting. It was a video for a different alter-ego for Freida Whales."

The head of the Okanagan Regional Library is satisfied with that, and there are no plans to cancel the event.

"No change of plans", said CEO Danielle Hubbard.

She said Freida Whales was vetted by library staff before these events as are all performers.

"We see in mainstream media in books and movies and music all the time that there are artists who create adult content and they create youth content."

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

Supporters of Tyson Cook and his alter-ego Freida Whales have started their own petition of support.

Both sides are planning demonstrations prior to this Saturday's event.

And that's the biggest worry.

"I just hope that on the 'day of" that both sides of the divide are respectful," said Hubbard.

Drag Story Time is scheduled for 11:00 am Saturday at the Downtown Kelowna Library.

Send your comments, news tips, typos, letter to the editor, photos and videos to







current feed webcam icon

Top Stories

Follow Us

Follow us on Instagram Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Follow us on Linkedin Follow us on Youtube Listen on Soundcloud Follow Our TikTok Feed Follow Our RSS
Follow Our Newsletter
Privacy Policy