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June 02, 2017

Drag Queen Storytime set at Philly and Cherry Hill libraries

Costumed readings for children during Gay Pride Month

Libraries LGBT
Drag queen storytime bearded ladies PROVIDED//KNIGHT FOUNDATION

John Jarboe, the founder of Bearded Ladies Cabaret, is reading stories to kids Saturday morning as part of Drag Queen Storytime.

Well, this is fabulous: drag queens reading children's books at public libraries on either side of the Delaware River as part of LGBT Pride Month.

Drag Queen Storytime has become a definite thing – nationally complete with a title.

First up locally is a reading and performance at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

John Jarboe, best-known as a musical cabaret performer and founder of Bearded Ladies, is scheduled to read at 11 a.m. Saturday, according to Christopher Brown, curator of the children's literature research collection.

"This is a first for us," said Brown, adding the reading at the main library on the Parkway is open to all and no advance registration is necessary.

Brown believes as well as readings, there may be a musical performance.


Lindsay Caswell, a bio queen, will be reading kids stories at Cherry Hill's library.

In South Jersey's Cherry Hill, the demand has been so strong for Drag Queen Storytime that the June 19 event is already filled.

But don't despair: Deena Caswell, the outreach librarian, is working on trying to either add space or more performances. She advises checking back on the library's events calendar.

The performers in Cherry Hill are the Sheer Sisters: Richie Roberts, a traditional drag queen, and Lindsay Caswell, a bio queen sister of Deena Caswell.

"It will be a fun, costumed storytime with crafts," said the librarian. "I'm so pleased by the response of our community."