Mayor cancels Montreal drag queen story hour over subject matter concerns

Saint-Laurent borough Mayor Alan DeSousa said that the event was cancelled because there were concerns over the subjects that were being discussed

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz Montreal QC

Canadian drag queen Barbada De Barbades says that a Montreal borough cancelled its upcoming Drag Queen storytime event for children at a local library.

Barbada, real name Sebastien Potvin, says that the drag queen has been doing storytimes for children for around five years. Potvin said that it was the first time an event of his has been cancelled in this manor.

"Everything was perfect. We had the contract signed," the drag queen told CBC News.

"It went very, very fast last week, and I would have loved to have been informed and could have prevented this whole thing."

Saint-Laurent borough Mayor Alan DeSousa said that the event was cancelled because there were concerns over the subjects that were being discussed. He said he and other elected officials will meet with Barbada for more information on the storytime event.

In response to the cancelling, Montreal Mayor Valorie Plante said in a tweet, "there will always be room for drag queens in our libraries and venues. Through their presence and their art, they contribute to making Montreal a more open, fair and inclusive city."

The event's cancellation comes just after complaints from the nearby city of Dorval in June, after it announced that it would be hosting the story hour with Barbada.

Drag Queen storytimes have been a source of controversy in both the US and Canada. Recently, a Pennsylvania drag queen was charged with 25 counts of child pornography. In another incident, Brett Blomme, Circuit Court Judge at Milwaukee County and former president and CEO of a foundation that promoted Drag Queen Story Hour, was arrested on counts of child pornography. Another drag queen was recently found to be lip-syncing vulgarities about children.


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