This weekend, story time is about to get a bit more colorful as Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) arrives in Houston.
Started in San Francisco, DQSH has made its way from Los Angeles to New York and now Houston where Brazos Bookstore will host the first ever DQSH in Texas just in time for Pride.
Benjamin Rybeck, the general manager at Brazos Bookstore, is excited for Houston to get a certain coverage it hasn't always received before.
“People look at Texas and Houston in particular and don’t really know what we are all about,” Rybeck says. “They assume Houston is kind of a conservative backwater, and Austin is the city that is really progressive here.”
Since the announcement of the event, the reactions have been overwhelmingly positive, Rybeck says. Even so, when drag queen Blackberri was approached to do the reading, she was excited and nervous.
“I’m just nervous that, I don’t want to scare any children, for me being a bearded queen, it’s kind of like kids either really, really love me or they’re just in shock and in awe. I do think we’ll have a good time though,” Blackberri says.
Blackberri has been doing drag in Houston since the end of last August, and her facial hair sets her apart from other local drag performers. This special trait, she believes, helps the children with their open-mindedness.
The story chosen for the reading is a LGBTQ-friendly book Red by Michael Hall, which is about a blue crayon that is mistakenly labeled in a red wrapper and suffers an identity crisis.
If there is anything Blackberri and Rybeck want DQSH go-ers to know, it's to come with an open mind and to not be afraid of asking questions.
“We want to engage with every community here in Houston, so we want to do programming that is for everyone and programming that is about opening your mind and being progressive," Rybeck says.
Blackberri adds: “Just come in with an open mind, and let’s have a good time. It’s all about fun and self-expression and pride. It’s Pride day, after all. We are 150 percent ready for this."
Saturday, June 24 at 10:30 a.m. Free. Brazos Bookstore. 2421 Bissonnett St. 713-523-0701. More info at brazosbookstore.com.