Drag Queen Story Time at Campus Library celebrates diversity and inclusion

To celebrate Pride Month, the Durham College (DC) and Ontario Tech University Campus Library welcomed Oshawa drag queen Violet S Parks for a special event.

Members of both campus communities filled the Library’s Fireside Reading Room for Drag Queen Story Time. The festivities began with a Q&A session where Parks spoke about her own journey of self-discovery as a member of the two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual (2SLGBTQQIA+) community. She also touched on her passion for performing, the appeal of Story Time events, and the importance of accepting everyone as they are.

She then gave a reading of popular children’s books that entertained the attendees before wrapping up with a dance and a photo session with her new fans.

The performer was happy to see so many members of the campus community come out in support of the event, many of them sporting brightly coloured attire in the spirit of Pride.

“It’s really fun to see people come together as a community and celebrate love and empowerment, and acknowledge that there’s diversity out there, that love is love, and that we can all prosper. We can all hold hands and walk forward together,” she said. “I think everyone should take a little bit of pride away from today’s event.”

That pride was shared by Marisa Mei, DC’s Sexual Violence Education and Prevention Coordinator. Representing the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (OEDI), she was pleased that the campus community embraced the event.

“It’s really inspiring to me that our college continues to be a strong leader in our community and that we are playing a vital role in helping to increase visibility and representation of 2SLGBTQQIA+ people and communities. Supporting events like Drag Queen Story Time that help to address and challenge harmful stereotypes, myths and prejudice affirms our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion,” said Mei.

To encourage further learning and understanding, a collection of Pride Month resources is available on the Library website.