'Drag Queen Story Hour' to go on at East Bay library following criticism

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A library in the East Bay has received some criticism after announcing it would host a "Drag Queen Story Hour" event later this month. (Nathan Padilla)

A library in the East Bay has received some criticism after announcing it would host a "Drag Queen Story Hour" event later this month.

Despite the criticism, the library is standing by its event.

Drag Queen Bella Aldama is no stranger to participating in "Story Hour." She read to a group of kids for 'Drag Queen Story Hour' in El Cerrito last September.

"When I started doing drag, I wanted to do more community outreach, HIV prevention and also acceptance and awareness of the LGBT community," said Christian Aguirre. When not in drag, Aguirre identifies himself as a gay man. He's been doing drag since coming out almost 10 years ago.

He hasn't decided what dress to wear at the next Story Hour event scheduled for February 11 in Brentwood.



"Most people are saying that we're trying to teach people what to be. I'm just trying to promote self-love and acceptance for families," added Aguirre.

Aguirre is referring to some online criticism the county library received on a Facebook post by EastCountyToday.Net after announcing the event at the Brentwood Community Center.

"We definitely had some calls at the library, lots of comments on that Facebook post," said Brooke Converse with the Contra Costa County Library.

County officials say they also received comments of support and are standing by their event.



"There's absolutely nothing controversial, we don't think, about what we're doing. We do programming like this all the time," said Converse. "We have story times on an almost daily basis at every single one of our libraries."

Library officials go on to say Drag Queen Story Hour is about love and inclusiveness - and that's what Bella Aldama represents.

"Everyone deserves respect and everyone has the right to be what they want to be," said Aguirre.

Ultimately, it will be the parents' decision whether to allow their kids to participate in this story time.
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