"Pretending I was a boy felt just like telling a lie," she read to them.
MJ was reading during Storyfort's Drag Queen Story Hour, part of Treefort Music Fest, and the title she chose was I Am Jazz by Jessica Berthel (Dial Books, 2014). It's the story of a little girl who loves princesses and the color pink, but there's a catch: Jazz's sex is male. The situation confuses her parents, which distresses her. But after a trip to a children's mental health professional, Jazz and her parents learn about being transgender.
Several other drag queens read children's books, including Penelope Windsor, who recently participated in the third-annual Boise's Next Drag Superstar. Her title was Sarah and Ian Hoffman's Jacob's New Dress (Albert Whitman & Company, 2014), about a little boy who wants to wear a dress to school. Penelope said ideas like gender and drag are hardly foreign to preschool-aged kids.
"I don't think these are new concepts to kids their age," she said. "[Reading stories about gender and drag] is something that normalizes it in a world that denormalizes it."
- Harrison Berry
- After the Drag Queen Story Hour on Friday, several children took a shine to drag queen Penelope Windsor's platform boots.