Drag King Storytime Canceled In Sarasota After Backlash

SARASOTA, FL — A Drag King Storytime scheduled at The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime in Sarasota has been canceled because of backlash that the market has received about the event and concerns about protests, owner Kim Livengood told Patch.

The storytime was scheduled for Friday at 10:30 a.m.

Performer Amanda Heisey was scheduled to read at the event in drag. The book’s title wasn’t announced.

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“It’s just super sad that people have to be so nasty about things that are harmless and that have clearly good intentions. It’s horrible,” Heisey told Patch.

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Livengood, a staunch ally of the LGBTQ+ community, said she and the Bazaar “will support in other ways.”

The event was initially inspired by her mother, who “has always felt very passionate about us always having free books for kids when they come to the bazaar,” she said. “And this is just something fun to do during pride.”

She decided to schedule a drag king to read, rather than a drag queen, because “drag kings don’t get enough love.”

She organized the event despite a new Florida law known as the “Protecting Children’s Innocence” law targeting drag performances for children. The bill bans minors from attending “sexually explicit adult performances in all venues — including drag shows and strip clubs,” according to the news release. Hotels and restaurants that allow children to attend adult performances risk being fined or having their license suspended.

The Bazaar’s storytime wasn’t going to feature any explicit material or performances, Livengood said.

The event also wasn’t intended to be political, she added. “We’re not political. We’re just doing the right thing, and we’re very all-inclusive. We feel very strongly that everybody can come to our Bazaar.”

The storytime was her way of letting the LGBTQ+ community know that they’re welcome at the Bazaar — and Livengood wants them to know that they’re still welcome.

“We are allies and this is just our way to show our support,” she said. “Love is love.”

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