Drag queen story time at Chaska children's store met with outpouring of community support

A colorful room with products to purchase
Little Roos is a small business in Chaska, Minn., that focuses on girls fashion and handmade bows.
Courtesy photo

A Chaska children's boutique's high-profile drag queen story time drew a supportive crowd Saturday morning in spite of protests.

The event drew attention after the store's owner posted a video on Tik Tok of an angry customer arguing that it promoted sexual entertainment for children. The video received more than 500,000 likes and thousands of comments supporting Little Roos.

Darcie Baumann, who helped run the event, said in part due to these types of threats, the store was prepared when members of the right-wing extremist group the Proud Boys showed up on Saturday and shouted at attendees.

Police and members of Minneapolis-based security team Sequeerity helped keep the peace, Baumann said.

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“We're very lucky to be on private property and have the support of the property manager, and we were not going to engage,” Baumann said. “Any attention that we give them is just fueling that fire.”

But what wasn't expected was the 200-strong crowd that packed the store to create colorful chalk art and hear drag queen Miz Diagnosis read two children's books. Little Roos owner Marissa Held-Nordling said they weren't able to fit everyone in the store.

A drag queen reads a story book
Drag queen Miz Diagnosis reads a children's book Saturday, July 8, 2023 at the Little Roos children's boutique store.
Stacy Vigiletti | Courtesy of Little Roos

“There were a lot more people here than we were anticipating. But we were lucky to have a lot of volunteers to help crowd control and keep the traffic flowing,” Held-Nordling said. “We had so many tiny fingers here, drawing everywhere, leaving great messages.”

Baumann added the event's success shows progress in the acceptance of LGBTQ+ people outside of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

“We have always been in your community,” Baumann said. “It used to be that if you came out, you moved to the city. They want to stay where they've grown up, and they should be able to. And to have this and to know that adults are around that support them is wonderful.”

Held-Nordling said Little Roos plans to host more drag queen story time events in the near future.