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VIDEO: Drag Queen Story Time returns to Kelowna Library and renews controversy

'Drag Queen Story Time' is making a comeback after three years.

And it appears the controversy around it may also return.

Not long after it was announced, a petition started circulating opposing the event.

The CEO of the Okanagan Regional Library isn't surprised.

"When the ORL ran our first Drag Queen Story Time in 2019 there were protesters and counter-protesters, so I think we would be naive to think none of that will happen," said Danielle Hubbard.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

But fear of controversy isn't enough to put a stop to it.

"My hope is that if people do have negative opinions towards the event that they will be respectful," said Hubbard.

The petition against the event was started by Laurie Baird of Kelowna.

"Nothing against drag queens," wrote Baird when contacted by KelownaNow.

But she argues they don't belong in the library doing story time.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

"Drag queens and strippers are not appropriate role models for young children who tend to idolize any live entertainer that they meet."

And Baird fears that the children may want to follow them on social media which could lead them to inappropriate sexual content.

"I actually have concerns about kids being on social media in general," is city councillor Loyal Wooldridge's reply to that concern.

Wooldridge who represents the City of Kelowna on the library board said the event is about inclusivity.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

"Growing up gay in Kelowna, I can speak from lived experience," he began.

"When I was a youngster there weren't any resources for me to feel that I belonged, or I was part of this community,"

Wooldridge and Hubbard both point out that the event is only presented for families who want to be there.

<who> Photo Credit: KelownaNow <who> Danielle Hubbard, ORL CEO and Loyal Wooldridge, Kelowna City Councillor

"If people don't want to see Drag Queen Story Time, it's scheduled outside of normal story time hours in the library and they simply don't have to attend," said Wooldridge.

"It's really up to the families," added Hubbard.

Drag Queen Story Time is scheduled for 11:00 am Sat. Jan. 28 at the Downtown Kelowna Library on Ellis St.



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