February 4, 2019
by Richard Narramore/EIC and photos by Sara Boone
Rainbow Mobile hosted its third Drag Queen Story Hour at the University of South Alabama.
Rainbow Mobile’s first DQSH was held at the Ben May Main library, which reached maximum capacity and had families from Birmingham, New Orleans and Florida in attendance, according to Bryan Fuenmayor, founding executive director of Rainbow Mobile.
Fuenmayor said he was inspired to bring DQSH to Mobile after seeing other cities host similar events on his Facebook feed.
“It’s great to have diversity, something different in here, expose kids to different people because the more that we are exposed to different folks the more tolerance and acceptance we have when we grow up,” Fuenmayor said.
However, the events have not gone without protest. The DQSH at Ben May Main library had an organized protest scheduled and two individuals were removed from the USA student center Ballroom. Fuenmayor considers the opposition a minor voice though.
“I would really like to sit down with them one on one and talk to them about their concerns,” Fuenmayor said. “I know there is a lot of misconceptions and ignorance on their part. They have a lot of false ideas about what we are doing and who we are. I think if we have a civil one one one discussion with them things would be better.”
Champagne Munroe, a Drag Queen who performs in Mobile and participated in reading at two of the DQSHs, does not fault protestors for their beliefs or care for the protest as long as it’s done appropriately.
“It is unfortunate that people would resort to, because they feel so strongly about what they believe in, saying things in such a harsh way,” Munroe said. “I can’t fault them too much because that is what they believe in. That is their set of beliefs. I am not going to sit here and knock them for their religious beliefs.”
Lisa Blackburn brought her son to the DQSH because he has fun and it’s a free event. Blackburn also said the stories read have good messages and plans to pick up them up so she can read them to her child again.
“I want these to keep happening,” Blackburn said. “It’s fun and he’s gonna remember it. I love that it gives me suggestions on how to deal with things. These books are a good starting point.”