Drag queen hosts story time event for kids in Plaza Midwood

Drag queen Brandon James read books to children at Common Market Saturday, after his request to read at Charlotte

Families packed the patio of Plaza Midwood’s Common Market Saturday morning to hear drag queen Brandon James read stories to children.

Donning a mermaid costume, James read several books and took pictures with children.

drag-queen-hosts-story-time-event-for-kids-in-plaza-midwood photo 1 A large crowd listened as Brandon James read books during story time Saturday at Common Market. Diedra Laird dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

James, who used to live in Charlotte, initially requested to host children’s story time event at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in July. The request was denied, and James said he was the subject of ridicule and online hate speech.

drag-queen-hosts-story-time-event-for-kids-in-plaza-midwood photo 2 Brandon James reads books to a large crowd during story time Saturday at Common Market. Diedra Laird dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

Common Market, at 2007 Commonwealth Ave. in Plaza Midwood, announced it would allow James to read at the business, after owner Blake Barnes said it was ridiculous for people to be offended by the show.

drag-queen-hosts-story-time-event-for-kids-in-plaza-midwood photo 3 Fincher Nelson, 3, greeted Brandon James after the story time. Diedra Laird dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

James told the Observer he likes to read to children in drag to help promote diversity, hoping children would understand people “are all different but normal.”

LaVendrick Smith; @LaVendrickS

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