RAHWAY, NJ - A program featuring a man dressed as a woman who sings, tells stories and does crafts with children is coming next week to the Rahway Train Station Plaza.
The program, called Drag Queen Story Hour, is supposed to foster "awareness of gender diversity," as well as promote self-acceptance and build empathy. It features a drag queen known as "Harmonica Sunbeam."
The hour-long program, presented by the Union County freeholders through the county Office of LGBTQ Services and the Friends of the Rahway Public Library, will take place Aug. 21 at 11:30 a.m. and it is free.
“Drag Queen Story Hour is an opportunity to honor each child as an individual and share a message of acceptance,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados in a statement. “The freeholder board is proud to collaborate with organizations and stakeholders that share our commitment to celebrate diversity, foster acceptance and inspire inclusive communities in Union County.”
According to a press release, "Harmonica Sunbeam brings a fun interactive program that encourages children to be tolerant of one another, to be open to being who they are and understand that not everyone is the same and it’s ok to be different."
If it rains, the event will be held at the Rahway Public Library.
“A simple way to let the community know that diverse families are welcome here is through inclusive programming,” said Union County Freeholder Alexander Mirabella, liaison to the Union County LGBTQ Ad Hoc Committee. “We are proud to partner with the Friends of the Rahway Public Library to provide an inclusive space for all children and families to thrive regardless of gender identity and expression.”
The Office of LGBTQ Services "is the first county government office of its kind" in New Jersey, according to the press release. "It offers a platform for leadership and collaboration to support equality, and serves as a catalyst for advocacy, awareness and action on current and emerging issues that impact the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals," said the county.