Watertown Library To Host ‘All-Ages’ Pride Event With Drag Kings

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2023/05/23/watertown-library-to-host-all-ages-pride-event-with-drag-kings/

Watertown Free Public Library is set to host an “all-ages” pro-homosexuality and pro-transgenderism pride event with drag kings on Saturday, June 3.

The library’s web site describes the “extravaganza” as “an inclusive, all-ages event that celebrates and advocates for our LGBTQIA+ communities, free and open to everyone.” 

“By coming together, we will strengthen our ties and highlight the vibrant, diverse groups within our city, which contribute to the well-being of all,” the page continues.

“Pride is a time to honor where we’ve been and build a joyful future where everyone has the freedom to be their true self,” Allie Fry, a Watertown librarian and co-leader of the “Pride team,” said in a press release published by the library on Wednesday, May 17. “What better way to start the month than with a citywide celebration!”

The event, first mentioned in a tweet from the Massachusetts Free Press on Tuesday, May 16, is scheduled to start with a parade from the Watertown Free Public Library to Saltonstall Park.


The “extravanganza” also happened in 2022 and will be emceed by two “drag kings,” Jayden Jamison and “Alli ShortForAllister.”

Jamison’s public Facebook page describes the performer as a “neighborhood twink drag king seeking performance opportunities throughout the country.” Jamison was crowned “Mistah Boston Pride” in the 2017 Boston Pride Pageant.

“Alli ShortForAllister” is another drag king who began doing drag-time story hours in 2021 and founded “Storytime with Drag Kings, Queens, and Friends.” The performer uses “they” as a personal pronoun. A bio for a drag time story hour says the performer “works on podcasts for kids.”

Some of the things planned at the event include an acrobatic show, a brass band, zumba performances, and “an original piece” from the New Repertory Theatre “dedicated to mothers of 2 Spirit children.”

“2 Spirit” refers to people who say they have a masculine and feminine “spirit.”

“Joining forces on the Watertown Pride Extravaganza with the Watertown Public Library was a no-brainer,” Maria Hendricks at New Repertory Theatre told NewBostonPost in an email message on Monday, May 22.

“Community engagement is a central priority for me, as is giving a platform to Underrepresented Voices, and this speaks directly to the core Renewal Vision of New Repertory Theatre,” she continued.

The theater’s “Renewal Vision” refers to the theater’s commitment to new voices. “Inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility, and accountability (IDEAA) will infuse every aspect of our work as we build community collaborations and give voice to the diverse interests of those communities,” the statement says.

As for why the theater is focusing on the 2 Spirit community, Hendrick’s said the theater’s “hope is to offer some insight as to what 2 Spirit is and means, entertain and allow loving supportive family members (particularly parents) of Queer children/adults in the community to be and feel seen/heard as well.” 

According to the Watertown library page, the event has received funding from the Mass Cultural Center, the Boston Pride Community Fund, Watertown Savings Bank, the Library building committee, and the Watertown Commission on Disability.

A spokesman for the Commission on Disability told NewBostonPost by email on Friday, May 19 that the commission is providing financial support to the event to hire an American Sign Language interpreter.

NewBostonPost contacted the library for comment on Friday, May 19. A spokesman could not be reached.


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