Okotoks was visited by royalty on Friday.

As part of Pride Season, the Okotoks Public Library hosted "Reading With Royalty," an event in which local drag queens and kings host family-friendly reading and activities.

Okotoks drag king Shane Onyou says events such as this to address topics such as gender stereotypes with younger children.

"It's a great way to bridge that, to start conversations that don't normally come up at school are around your family. It gives parents a chance to bring it up, and to bring it to the forefront."

He says the program has had quite a warm reception.

"We've just recently started doing junior highs, which is a beautiful concept because they get to ask questions about everything from makeup to coming out at home. It's been a phenomenal thing, and well received, so we're starting to get booked by more schools. It's been quite busy these last couple years!"

Calgary drag queen Felicia Bonée says events such as this help to normalize conversations surrounding identity, and can prepare both parents and children for possible future conversations.

"It normalizes things at a younger age. When we were younger, the normal thing was that 'gays are bad' or 'you shouldn't be gay' or that if you come out, your life is over. It's being able to see at a young age that you can be successful, you can be happy living your life. And for the parents, if something comes up and their kids wants to wear a dress or something, they're like 'okay, this is just like that book I read.' They have something to go off of, the kid has something to go off of, we can figure it out."

The event fell during Pride Month in America, which is largely recognized across the world as Pride Season.


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