During a Drag Queen Story Hour at the Vancouver Community Library on Sunday, children were asked the typical question of what they wanted to be when they grew up by drag performer "Tree Empress 45 Onalicious Mercury."
A young boy wearing a dress started off the responses with, “Spider-Man.”
“You want to be a Spider-Man?” Onalicious Mercury replied before pausing a moment, then looking to his right and responding, “Or Princess Spider-Man, you never know.”
“You can be anything you want,” Onalicious continued. “I’m a drag queen.”
More than 100 children and parents were in attendance at the event and parents seemed to be in full support of what the drag queen was teaching their offspring.
Protesters did show up to the event, and as The Columbian reported:
But where performers have gone, controversy has followed. A cluster of protesters including Rep. Vicki Kraft, R-Vancouver, gathered in front of the library to protest the event. They were challenged by black-clad counterprotesters, but it was a mostly civil demonstration.
Critics say it’s inappropriate for drag queens who also perform at bars and night clubs to be invited to read to young children. Kraft said the event promotes “gender confusion, which is damaging to children.”
“It’s taking advantage of young minds,” Kraft said.
Owen McHatton, the biological man behind "Onalicious Mercury," says there is nothing wrong with men in dresses reading stories to children in the library.
McHatton read books on “self-expression and self-acceptance,” like “Julian is a Mermaid,” which is about a young boy whose grandma basically wants hims to dress like Ariel from the “Little Mermaid.”
“We’re just trying to be a positive image of your dreams can come true,” McHatton said. “What your imagination is telling you can come true.”
Here’s the longer video of the Vancouver Drag Queen Story Hour: