Storytime with Miss Angel | Credit: Courtesy

The Board of Democratic Women of Santa Barbara County was disturbed by a recent protest organized by members of the Santa Barbara County Republican Party targeting a drag queen storytime held monthly at a local downtown Santa Barbara business, The Crafter’s Library.

As Democratic Women we stand in solidarity with all members of the LGBTQ community.

We honor the work of Andrew Rawls, proprietor of The Crafter’s Library, and Miss Angel, the drag queen who reads inclusive stories that celebrate friendship, kindness, and individuality.

The distressing trend of attacking drag queen storytimes with claims that they sexualize children is disingenuous. These events promote literacy, imagination, and community, while creating safe spaces for families of all kinds to gather, connect, and see themselves represented in stories.

The malicious political discourse surrounding drag queen storytimes, often coupled with calls to limit access to books that acknowledge LGBTQ identities or reckon with the history of racism in America, is based on homophobia, transphobia, and racism.

Drag queen storytimes are an opportunity to celebrate and affirm diverse LGBTQ identities and histories while offering an opportunity to see the world from a different perspective and approach the challenges we face with courage and creativity. Drag queens employ many tried and true early education practices, employing a sense of wonder and curiosity in their storytelling, encouraging children to think of the world from many perspectives and have empathy.

Drag queen storytimes offer what the rest of the community may not. A rare form of acceptance and affirmation that we are all beautiful however we show up in the world, and the encouragement to be brave enough to show up as such, even in the face of oppression and hate.

Protests against drag queen storytimes are an attack on trans and all LGBTQ people, an attempt to push queer people out of public life, and a smokescreen for politicians who attempt to divide us, hold onto power, and take away basic rights.

If only the protestors would listen to the stories shared, they might also be able to imagine a world in which everyone is free from oppression and bigotry. And isn’t that what Republicans wish for the world — more freedom?

Democratic Women of Santa Barbara County would invite all those who care about the welfare of children to prioritize ending community violence, fostering access to health care, investing in education, ensuring that all families have a home, and supporting elected leaders working to address the needs of children, young adults, and their families. Join us at


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