As part of our continuing efforts to champion literacy and celebrate diversity, the Children’s Museum of the East End is delighted to host the Hamptons debut of Drag Queen Story Hour. We recently spoke with Bella Noche about what families can expect during the event, how she discovered drag, and the book she thinks all families should have a copy of.
Can you tell us a little bit about Drag Queen Story Hour? What can kids and families expect?
Drag Queen Story Hour is a kid-oriented, family-friendly time of reading, learning, and imagination. Our trained DQSH queens read a few books that explore themes like love, acceptance, individuality, creativity, and lessons for life. In addition, we sing songs, play pretend and then have a special arts and craft activity to wrap it all up.
What would you say to a parent who might be hesitant to take her or his child to DQSH?
I would say that bringing a child to a DQSH reading is virtually the same as bringing them to see someone dressed up as Cinderella or Belle to read to them. Except it’s a drag queen (and I’m more of an Ariel). We at DQSH have taken pointed efforts to make sure that everyone who comes to a reading feels accepted, safe and being led by someone who is truly passionate about child education as well as creating a fun family environment for all who attend.
How did you get involved with drag?
I’ve been doing drag for over four years now. I started in New York City before moving out to Long Island almost a year ago. It initially began as a dare to do only once, but it just snowballed from the first time I performed and then with every time I was asked to perform after. Before I knew it, drag became my full-time career. I have never been more edified and fulfilled with any job I’ve had before this.
What’s your favorite part of performing as Bella Noche?
Have you seen me? I’m gorgeous! In all seriousness, I feel a sense of complete freedom when I become Bella Noche. All of my insecurities and worries wash away and I’m able to unleash the full potential of my passions and creativity. I’ve found there are very few things that can compare to that feeling in my life.
What children’s book do you think everyone should have a copy of?
There are SO many wonderful children’s books out there, and there are a number of personal favorites in my own library. But if I have to choose one for everyone to have a copy of, I would have to say Love the World by Todd Parr. It goes into how everyone in the world is so different, yet it’s those very differences that make us special. They make for a beautiful, colorful world if we all just love each other, no matter who we are.