Barbada de Barbades, embodied by Sébastien Potvin for 17 years now, is a well-known drag queen in the Quebec drag scene.
But you may have heard his name for the first time in the last few weeks because his reading of fairy tales to children aroused “passions” in people who were visibly prepared to be angry forever in life.
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Although Barbada stands out by hosting history classes in libraries, day care centers and cultural centers since 2016, planned performances have just been canceled in the Saint-Laurent district, and without specifying the exact reasons, we have made it clear to Barbada that elected officials in the district is not comfortable with his arrival.
The bag of chips on the ground
Because it does not scare us, us, a children’s story, we have already taken two beautiful children with us to read beautiful stories to them.
Don’t worry, we’ve still prepared them before. It is not true that they should have read stories to them without notice. They were told, “We’re leaving at story time.”
The little ones of 7 and 4 years were now ready for a trip to the Maison de la culture Claude-Léveillé.
Here are 12 things we saw:
1. A well-appointed place for the comfort of toddlers and parents
Colorful cushions for children to sit on and chairs for parents who do not like to sit cross-legged for an hour. Like us.
Lots of diverse books and albums
They all had one thing in common: themes of diversity and acceptance.
Lots of kids and parents happy to be there
The children could not wait for the story time to begin, some even pointed to the stories they were most looking forward to hearing.
4. The only Barbada
Very tall, with a blue wig and a dress in shades of purple and pink, she also wore flashy jewelry.
It looked like a cartoon, it was so colorful. Smiling, relaxed, gentle.
5. A queen with experience
In addition to his job as an elementary school music teacher, as he does as Sébastien, Barbada has an extensive track record.
She hosts the children’s program Barbada available on tou.tv, she participated in the documentary The by day, the by night, broadcast in 2017 on ICI ARTV and was a mentor on the show Call me mom on Ude tv.
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6. We saw the children wondering about his arrival
Some even clapped spontaneously.
7. We heard Barbada introduce herself to the children with her soft, smooth voice
She explained that Barbada is a character and in real life she is a boy. Uh yes!
She took the time to explain to the children that she was undressed and asked them if they also liked to undress. The answer was unanimous: YES!
What a surprise!
8. We have seen children fully understand that Barbada is a character
… and do not worry about it anymore.
9. We were spoiled with 3-4 stories told in a very funny way
Barbada changed her voice over the stories and involved the children.
We would swear a history lesson!
10. Exactly, we attended a history lesson, period.
As Barbada has already said in an interview, it’s an original and different story lesson, but it’s not a “drag show”.
Don’t worry, you’re not sending your 3-year-olds to an 18+ show on Mado.
11. We could take pictures with Barbada at the end of the class
Absolutely every child would want one. She took the time to chat with all the young people present, which made them feel special and important.
12. Finally we saw a drag queen (yes, it’s a man in disguise) who gave a nice message about tolerance
Throughout history and after, absolutely no one, neither parent nor child, was shocked or outraged.
Everyone enjoyed this hour, where we were, in short, in a playful way read to each other stories that speak of acceptance of oneself and others.
For those who want more information about story time, a thousand-year-old tradition, the city of Montreal offers an article in which it mentions 5 reasons to bring your child to story time.
See also about the bag of chips: