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Confusion surrounds Drag Queen Story Time at Georgia library

April 8, 2019

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia drag queen invited to read to children at the library said he feels discriminated against after the upcoming story time activity was removed from an events calendar.

Steven Igarashi-Ball, who performs in drag mostly for charity as Miss Terra Cotta Sugarbaker, said he’s confused by the situation.

He says he was invited to perform by the staff at the Alpharetta library branch, part of Fulton County’s library system. But he says the county library system removed the April 27 “Drag Queen Story Time” from its events calendar.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that other story time events are still noted on the online calendar.

Library system spokeswoman Jessica Corbitt-Dominguez tells the newspaper that the event wasn’t canceled. However, no one has explained its removal from the events calendar.

The library system decided to withdraw its promotion of the reading event, but will allow the event to go on at the Alpharetta library on April 27, Igarashi-Ball said. The 180 spaces filled in less than an hour, he said.

Igarashi-Ball said he’s been reading to children of all ages at the Ponce de Leon Avenue branch, typically once every two months since September 2017. The events remain popular, he said.

“We appreciate the community support for the Drag Queen Story Time event, which has been successful and well received at the Ponce de Leon Library,” Corbitt-Dominguez said in a statement. “We recommended to the organizer that it continue at the location where it has a strong track record.

Igarashi-Ball said his drag persona is suited to working with children in libraries.

“I would describe her as a modern Southern belle . (with) big hair, and I feel like she’s an aged-out pageant queen,” he said. Think Delta Burke’s depiction of Suzanne Sugarbaker in the CBS show “Designing Women.”

“Drag Queen Story Hour” is a national movement that began in San Francisco and entails drag queens reading books to children at libraries, the Journal-Constitution reported.

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Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com