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Drag queen story hour in communities nationwide, but some see controversy. Do you think this is a good idea?

"Drag Queen Story Hour" is scheduled to go on as planned at North Park Library, despite weeks of conflict in the Evansville community.

Eyewitness News Amanda Mueller sat down with the volunteer who will be in the spotlight at Drag Queen Story Hour.

Owen Jackson is well-traveled, a chef, and an Evansville community member. And-- a Drag Queen.

He may have twice the amount of friends as most people, because he's got twice the personality.

There's Owen --

"It's all worth it. It's been so worth it to me."

And then there's Florintine Dawn.

"She is two sizes shoes bigger than me ... she has definetly longer hair...."

He says she's sassy, but humble.

 Owen chose three books for Florintine to read at Drag Queen Story Hour, because they're books that his parents used to read to him.

 "One of them is Goodnight Moon, the other is the Hungry Little Catepillar, and then the other book is ... having a blank... Brown Bear, Brown Bear."

He says he'd like adults to take away one thing from the event:

"I think I'd like to see adults take away from this that Drag Queens are not bad. We're not monsters or anything. We're not here to influence people or make people change or anything. I want them to see us Drag Queens for who we are. Like previously in the news, a Drag Queen out of drag is a day-to-day common worker. Your hairstylists, your server, your cook, your banker, your jewler.... "

Owen's and Florintine's work has not been without controversy.

After months of protests, on Friday, a local publication, The Vanderburgh Independent Press, raised concerns that the library did not background check their chosen Drag Queen.

The library confirmed that; citing the library's policy to background check employees but not volunteers.

Volunteers are directly supervised by back-ground checked employees.

That same publication also reported Jackson may have a  history with the Department of Child Services.

The author of the article, who the publication did not identify, claimed that students who attended school with him, and even a sibling, knew of the situation. We asked jackson about these accusations.

Amanda Mueller: In the article, they make some accusations about some DCS background issues. Specifically that you were made to sleep apart from the rest of the family, etc. What is your response to that?
Owen: That never has happened ever. I've never had a DCS case in the state of Indiana or ever. Never.
Amanda: You're confidant they're not going to be able to substantiate anything?
Owen: I will say this: to people who may agree to this story? That's you're own opinion. My friends and family members and people that are supportive of me, know that that has never happened."

We checked the sex offender registry, and Jackson is not on it.
We also checked the Indiana Department of Corrections offender database and found no records.  
And, we called DCS. We have not yet heard back.

"My message to the parents that are concerned about this article: there's nothing to be worried about," Owen said.

He said he's received messages from people who do fear for his safety, but he's not worried.

He says he knows everyone will not agree with him. But, he has one request:

"Please be mindful and please be respectful. Everyone's lives matter. Everyone's opinions matter.  I'm definitely not there to change anyone's mind or opinion at all."

Posted - May 13, 2019


  • 7722

    What makes me angrier is that "they" somehow moved from drag queen to child abuser to sex offender. Seriously. Why is that even a thing? The clothes a person wears does not make them a criminal. You know, unless you're in the middle east and showing too much ankle or, heaven forbid, your hair. I am genuinely pissed. So, I get the worry over having volunteers being safe around kids. Totally get that. Why did the policy not come under scrutiny until now? They're demonizing the person. And, the fact that whomever you quoted felt the need to check the sex offender database too. There wasn't even a qualifier there. It was like, "Hey, we've got a drag queen, so we're going to make sure they're not a sex offender too..." as if that's the next logical conclusion. 

    Oh. My. Word. This article. That thought process. This is exactly why this sort of thing is necessary. 
      May 13, 2019 9:40 AM MDT

  • 46240
    I think this story is a dream come true for a good high-priced lawyer.  
      May 13, 2019 9:45 AM MDT

  • 22400
    i dont know anything about that
      May 13, 2019 3:42 PM MDT