Learn about the genesis of Drag Queen Story Hour—a storybook series where children’s books are read by drag queens with a gender-fluid flair. Michelle Tea, a parent and writer with the Feminist Press, founded the program to insert joyful activism and advocacy in libraries, bookstores, and museums. She is joined by Lil’ Miss Hot Mess, an activist and regular contributor to Drag Queen Story Hour, and Sandra Tsing Loh, a radio host, actress, and author of numerous books, including The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones (2014).
Michelle Tea is the author of eleven books, including the cult classic Valencia, the genre-breaking Black Wave, and the recent Modern Tarot: Connecting with Your Higher Self Through the Wisdom of the Cards. Tea is the editor of the Sister Spit imprint on City Lights and the Amethyst Editions imprint on Feminist Press. She is the founder of the long-running Sister Spit international performance tour, and RADAR Productions, a queer, literary non-profit based in San Francisco. An essay collection, Against Memoir, is forthcoming from Feminist Press, and the final volume in her young adult mermaid trilogy, Castle on the River Vistula, is forthcoming from McSweeneys.
Lil Miss Hot Mess bedazzles audiences with a unique blend of camp, critique, coding, and choreography. Known for throwing elaborate extravaganzas like her Bat Mitzvah x2 and roller-skating parties, as well as experimenting with digital technologies and embedding politics in her performances, Lil Miss Hot Mess has appeared at venues ranging from San Francisco’s legendary gay bar The Stud to Stanford University, SFMOMA, and OccupySF. Currently based in Brooklyn, she left her heart in San Francisco, and has performed across the US in Los Angeles, Portland, Providence, Seattle, and beyond.
Sandra Tsing Loh is a comedian and author of the The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones, selected as one of the New York Times’ 100 Most Notable Books. Her previous book, Mother of Fire, was inspired by her hit solo show about Los Angeles public education. Other comedy shows include “Aliens in America” and “Bad Sex With Bud Kemp” (Second Stage Theatre), “Sugar Plum Fairy” (Geffen Playhouse, Seattle Rep), and “I Worry” (Kennedy Center, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville). She has been a regular commentator on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” and on PRI’s “This American Life” and “Marketplace”; currently, her weekly segment “The Loh Life”“ is heard on KPCC. A Pushcart Prize winner, MacDowell Fellow and three-time National Magazine Award nominee, she is a contributing editor for The Atlantic Monthly and adjunct professor of visual art and science communication at the University of California, Irvine.