WINNIPEG —; Millenium Library is being taken over by queens on Saturday. But it’s not all about tiaras and crowns… this event is all about diversity.
Read by Queens is a family story time event being led by a group of local drag queens. It includes a variety of books, themed crafts and games.
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“The event is a first of its kind in Winnipeg,” Drag Queen Levi Foy said.
“To give kids the opportunity to show them they can be anything. We didn’t have that sense of inclusivity and acceptance growing up.”
Similar events have taken place in Toronto and in cities across the United States. It helps to open up the conversation surrounding LGBTQ issues and questions for children and adults.
WATCH: A similar event in Toronto in April, 2016
“I think it’s really important for younger kids to have,” Foy said. “Hopefully it will make life easier for younger kids who are going to struggle with things that we did. Hopefully it will make it less hostile.”
Foy spoke candidly about being physically bullied and taunted growing up.
Experts said it is important to open up the conversation around gender, sexuality and spirituality at a young age. Currently LGBTQ conversations are already happening in Manitoba schools as early as grade three.
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“Just accepting that people are people,” Professor Fiona Green said.
“They may express themselves in a multitude of ways and that expression can change over time. Gender and sex are not limited to these ideals, these prescriptions, we have at the moment. “
Green said having open and candid conversations about curiosity are just as important for parents as it is for children.
“People are fearful of what they don’t know and what they don’t understand,” Green said. “We learn from what our parents have taught us. If you have a child who is curious, you can go along with that curiosity. I often think children can take the lead in some areas and open up ways of thinking.”
There are two opportunities to catch Read by Queens story time:
Saturday, May 20
Time: 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.Location: Millennium Library, 251 Donald StreetDetails: Drop-in event (no registration required); free admission
Wednesday, May 31
Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.Location: West End Library, 999 Sargent AvenueDetails: Registration required, visit any branch of the Library to register or call 204-986-4677; free admission