PORT RICHEY, FL –
On Wednesday, a 32 year-old Pasco man was trespassed after sneaking into a ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’ dressed as a 6 year-old boy.
According to police, Chester Pedopholous, 32, disguised himself as a small boy in order to sneak into the ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’ at The Paperback Exchange book store in Port Richey. When questioned about why he chose to sneak in, Chester reportedly exclaimed, “I didn’t want to miss out on the fun!”
Drag queen Stephanie Stuart, who reads to the children at drag queen story hour, said she suspected something was wrong after Chester sat on her lap, but wanted to be welcoming towards the visitor.
I had just finished up reading ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ when it came time for the children to take turns sitting on my lap. When it was Chester’s turn, something just didn’t feel right. I could tell he didn’t quite fit in like the rest of the children, but I was a little surprised by how openly he put himself out there. At the end of the day, I let it slide and let him enjoy himself.
Drag queen story times are a recent phenomenon that seeks to introduce children to different gender norms by having drag queens read to children. Organizers say that all are welcome to the reading time, but that dressing up to disguise one’s true age “crosses the line”.
Police removed Chester from the property after receiving a complaint from a parent. The situation has a sparked a debate in the LGBTQ+ community regarding whether or not trans-age individuals should be allowed to participate in drag queen story hours. Organizers of the event say Chester would have been accommodated if he were to simply choose to identify as a 6 year-old rather than pretend to be one.