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Drag Story Hour: Born Ready with Ra'Jah O'Hara

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Children's books read by a multicultural cast of drag performers! This week: "Born Ready" by Jodie Patterson, ill. Charnelle Pinkney Barlow

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The Theater Offensive (TTO), Company One (C1) and The Boston Public Library (BPL) present VIRTUAL Drag Story Hour. Each Thursday session, a different drag performer will read a children’s book with LGBTQ themes — featuring Neon Calypso, KaMani Sutra, and Ra'Jah O'Hara! Drag Story Hour captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real.

This week, by special arrangement with Random House Children's Books, we're getting a pre-publication sneak peek at Born Ready: The True Story of a Boy Named Penelope by Jodie Patterson, illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow. After drag performer Ra'Jah O'Hara reads the book, author Jodie Patterson will join us for a special presentation!

Penelope knows that he's a boy. (And a ninja.) The problem is getting everyone else to realize it. In this exuberant companion to Jodie Patterson's adult memoir, The Bold World, Patterson shares her son Penelope's frustrations and triumphs on his journey to share himself with the world. Penelope's experiences show children that it always makes you stronger when you are true to yourself and who you really are.

Read by Ra'Jah O'Hara

Ra'Jah O'Hara, a Texas drag queen who has appeared on stages from RuPaul's Drag Race to The Theater Offensive's ClimACTS! Dynasty, will read this week's book!

Special Presentation by author Jodie Patterson

Jodie Patterson is an author, activist, beauty explorer and mother of 5. She holds the position of Chair of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation Board, our nation’s largest LGBT organization. As a globally recognized activist, Jodie speaks on topics of radical parenting, identity, and gender.

Drag Story Hour is based on Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) which was created by Michelle Tea and RADAR Productions, under the leadership of Juli Delgado Lopera and Virgie Tovar, in San Francisco in 2015. It started out as drag queens reading stories to children in libraries and grew into a global phenomenon! DQSH now offers literary and creative programming for kids and teens of all ages led by drag queens, kings, and creatures all over the world. DQSH is a global network of local organizations, each of which is independently managed and funded.

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