Once Upon A Time not too long ago and not too far away, yet high above in the sky, lived a people inside a rainbow. Often times, these rainbow dwellers would slide down and live alongside the people on the ground. Now, most of the rainbow people choose to live in great big cities with buildings that almost reach right back up to the sky so they can still feel close to home. Others prefer villages and smaller cities like Kingston, ON Canada. Kingston is very old, and is very grey and is made up entirely of limestone. The houses are limestone, the streets are limestone, even some of the people act like they’re MADE of limestone! Some Kingstonians are very proud of their history and still treat many of the old, dead, white men that colonized their area as if they were still alive and that they should be adored and idolized like gods or super heroes or chocolate chip ice cream! However, there is also much beauty in the city and there are those in Kingston that, like the rainbow people, can see the vibrant colours that hum and thrum from its sidewalks to the tops of the tallest trees. These colourful citizens embrace music, art, laughter, love and people who are different unlike the limestone people who like things the same, grey, and rocky. So of course the people of the rainbow are made to feel welcome at one of the largest celebrations of art and love in the city ironically on the site of a historical burial ground- called Skeleton Park.
One year, two of the rainbow people’s queens came to the Skeleton Park Arts Festival dressed in fabulous gowns and crowns and read for all the little children of the land. Normally they dressed like most boys do but on special days like that day, they wore their royal fineness to look pretty for the people. The children cheered and the grownups clapped with joyful approval and from that day on, this very special Drag Queen StoryTime occurred every year. Little did the rainbow people know, but word of their little tradition had gotten out thanks to the Facebook Fairies and cities all over the land, big and small were doing Drag Queen StoryTime. And although some of the rainbow people in bigger cities are claiming to have created this special event– we here in the land of limestone know the truth. The truth that sometimes the most magical, colourful moments to connect with each other can often originate from the smallest and greyest of places.
As Reelout is primarily an LGBTQ+ festival for adults, Matt pondered how the organization could thematically engage with families as he walked home and as he had many friends in the community who were drag queens and with the new book still fresh in his mind, Matt quickly reached out to his drag queen friends and asked if they would like to read the book to children on the day of the festival and it would be called Drag Queen StoryTime.