Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is just what it sounds like: drag performers reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and beyond. DQSH captures the imagination and play of childhood, all while giving kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. Through our readings and programs, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions, celebrate their own unique voices, and imagine a world where people can present as they wish—where dress up is real!
Drag Queen Story Hour was created by Michelle Tea and RADAR Productions in San Francisco in 2015. It started out as drag queens reading stories to children in libraries and grew into a global phenomenon! DQSH now offers literary and creative programming for kids and teens of all ages led by drag queens, kings, and creatures all over the world. DQSH is a global network of local chapters, each of which is independently managed and funded.
We believe that all of us should be free to express ourselves. Civic institutions like libraries, schools, and other community spaces should welcome the diversity that exists around us, even in the places where we least expect it. For us, children’s literature can be both a mirror and a window: books help us see our own experiences reflected back to us and can also offer opportunities for new perspectives and adventures. Ultimately, we envision a world based on equality, justice, and respect for all people, and we believe that both the stories and storytellers of DQSH can help build confidence and empathy, reduce bullying, and inspire lifelong creativity.