Stories & Donuts: Meet the Artist
Queen Bella is a local drag performer, singer, recording artist, and community activist. They are a faithful person who loves to share in the joy of one’s faith and one’s identity. They transform into a beautiful and endearing drag queen to bring joy and smiles to others. Mamma Bella loves sharing stories with children of all ages. They are also a leader with HoCo Pride and a youth group leader with PFLAG Howard County, an organization supporting queer (LGBTQ+) youth and families.
The Art of Drag and Story Hour
The exact origins of the term drag are not known. Drag most likely originated in theatre productions in which males were cast, dressed, and acted to portray female characters. Today, the art form has evolved to become more intricate and sophisticated. It can refer to characters that are feminine, Drag Queens, or characters that are masculine, Drag Kings. The drag artist/performer aims to depict a character and persona both in actions and visually through clothing, mannerisms, and most importantly… make-up art. The aim is to create a fantasy and tell a story through performance. At its essence, drag is an art. In the words of celebrity drag artist, RuPaul, “Drag doesn’t cover up who you are. It reveals who you are.”
Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) took off in 2015 from a library in San Francisco, California. Michelle Tea, feminist, activist, and LGBTQ+ mom used to attend library events with her newborn. While she found the events fostered a welcoming environment, they were tailored to a “hetero” crowd. Tea envisioned having similar events that would also be affirming of LGBTQ+ families as well. Community formation has been so important to well-being of LGBTQ+ youth and adults. Having our first DQSH at First is truly ground breaking in our journey of creating a church for all families, people, and children.
To learn more about the art of drag, check out this YouTube Video from the media site, them.
To learn more about Drag Queen Story Hour, check out this YouTube Video from the PBS Newshour, “Drag Queen Story Hour offers a different kind of page-turner”.