On the afternoon of Saturday, October 23rd, Epsilon Spires will host an event featuring drag performers Emoji Nightmare and
On the afternoon of Saturday, October 23rd, Epsilon Spires will host an event featuring drag performers Emoji Nightmare and Nikki Champagne, who will read from a selection of children’s books including C is for Country by iconic gay rapper Lil Nas X and Bodies are Cool, an inclusive exploration of body positivity by graphic artist Tyler Feder.
“Because of our costumes and personas, we are basically storybook characters come to life,” says Emoji. “I think it adds a really fun and sparkly element to story hour, and the added layer of LGBTQ representation lets queer families feel welcomed in spaces they may otherwise not.”
While Emoji and Nikki describe their experience running the Vermont chapter of the national Drag Queen Story Hour organization as “a really rewarding venture for us,” the endeavor has not been without controversy.
In 2019 one of their events was picked up by a conservative blogger known as “The Activist Mommy,” who encouraged her followers across the country to harass the library hosting the story hour with threatening messages and phone calls. The event went on as planned, filling the library beyond capacity with supportive audience members.
“We’ve repeatedly heard from librarians that our events draw residents of the community that had never attended their events before, and that tells us that offering our program opens doors for them to feel seen and welcomed,” says Emoji.
Emoji and Nikki—who are known together under the moniker NIGHTPAGNE—are headline performers at Paint: A Drag Cabaret, which is described on its website as “Vermont’s premier drag experience.” They have also hosted or performed at numerous drag events in the Burlington area, including the Vermont Pride Festival, New Queers Eve, and Glitter & Duct Tape.
Emoji is a published author who has served in several positions on nonprofit and municipal boards, including the national board of Drag Queen Story Hour. Nikki is a Representative in the Vermont House for Winooski and Burlington, who in 2020 became the first elected transgender representative in Vermont, and the fifth in the country.
Drag Queen Story Hour will take place in the Sanctuary of Epsilon Spires from 3-4:30 P.M. This free event is made possible with a grant from the Samara Fund, which describes its mission as helping to “ensure lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Vermonters are connected, healthy, appreciated, safe, and empowered.”
For more information, please visit www.epsilonspires.org.
(Saturday) 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Epsilon SpiresJamie Mohr 190 Main Street