The Beloit Public Library is hosting an event later this month entitled "Dress Up! Drag Queen Story Time," in which self-described drag queen Cass Marie Domino will read to preschool-aged children.
On the event's Facebook page, the Beloit Public Library's official Facebook account indicated that its "storytimes are geared for children 6 and under and their parents, but we always welcome older siblings."
"Cass Marie Domino will read positive, age-appropriate children’s books such as '10,000 Dresses' and 'What’s the Difference? Being Different is Amazing,'" as well as help lead a fun craft and dance," the Beloit Public Library said in a release on its Facebook page. "Children are encouraged to dress up however they are comfortable, as this will be an accepting and loving environment for all. Cass Marie will dress more moderately than on stage — appropriate for the age group that will be attending."
News/Talk 1130 received a number of complaints from Beloit residents, who felt that the event was inappropriate for young children. The library also heard similar concerns, and tried to assuage them in its Facebook statement.
"Just like all of our storytimes, a parent or guardian will be required to attend with the child," the Library said. "It will be up to the parent to decide whether they feel this is a program they want their child to attend or not. We also have made sure to advertise this special storytime in a way that is straight-forward and in no way misguides anyone as to the uniqueness of it. On the day of the program, we will have signs in the library as well as staff stationed at the door to make sure parents are aware that this is a different storytime than the usual. We will give parents ample time and knowledge to form their own decisions."