UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Drag pedagogy : The playful practice of queer imagination in early childhood Keenan, Harper; Lil Miss Hot Mess


In recent years, a programme for young children called Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) has risen to simultaneous popularity and controversy. This article, written collaboratively by an education scholar and a drag queen involved in organizing DQSH, contextualizes the programme within the landscape of gender in education as well as within the world of drag, and argues that Drag Queen Story Hour provides a generative extension of queer pedagogy into the world of early childhood education. Drawing on the work of José Esteban Muñoz, the authors discuss five interrelated elements of DQSH that offer early childhood educators a way into a sense of queer imagination: play as praxis, aesthetic transformation, strategic defiance, destigmatization of shame, and embodied kinship. Ultimately, the authors propose that “drag pedagogy” provides a performative approach to queer pedagogy that is not simply about LGBT lives, but living queerly.

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