WXXI AM News

Drag Story Hour is more than just reading

Sep 24, 2018

Credit Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

Its 10 a.m. on a Saturday when Mrs. Kasha Davis takes the stage in a turquoise sequin full-length gown.

But the stage isn’t just hers, as kids roll on the floor and run around the set behind her.

This is the second season of the monthly Drag Story Hour event.

"When I was a growing up, I joke as a little boy/gal/girl/boy/fella back in the '70s and '80s, there weren’t a lot of people on the TV or news I could relate to, and then I said, that's me. And I thought there’s opportunity in the Rochester area to talk to our kids, and really it comes down to, most importantly, when somebody is different, how do we treat them with kindness."

The stories all focus on themes of kindness and individuality. The book for this hour was "Julian is a Mermaid" by Jessica Love, about a little boy who wanted to dress up like a mermaid.

“This is what drag can do, it can be more than something that happens in a nightclub, it can be more than just something that happens at a parade or festival, it’s something that we can do to encourage kids to be creative and unique."

Most of the families in the audience have attended multiple times. Kerri O’Shea said it was her and her son Coyle’s fourth or fifth time here. She said he "loves to watch the lady who reads the books."

"I just think it’s important to expose him to a lot of different people, a lot of different cultures, a lot of different ways of life. Families don’t look today like they used to look and it’s important for him to understand.”

Kathryn DeVinney brought her 2-year-old daughter to the show.

"It just is about kindness and an understanding that there are different types of people in the world, and especially when the Out Alliance comes and talks about the meaning of the stories, it’s exactly how I want to raise my daughter."

Along with a story, the hour included a RuPaul dance break and craft time. But as much as "drag" is in the event's name, Davis says that’s not really the focus.

Credit Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

"We will talk about it if it’s brought up. The kids don’t seem to question a thing. So I think that that is important so they get in a routine of if somebody is different walking down the road, that they don’t stare and point and bully, they just accept that that person is different."

Drag Story Hour runs one Saturday a month with a 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. show through March 2019.