Drag queen hosts story time at Atlanta City Hall

A Georgia drag queen is reading at Atlanta City Hall Saturday after being invited by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

Bottoms' invitation came after Steven Igarashi-Ball, who performs in drag mostly for charity as Miss Terra Cotta Sugarbaker, had his story time activity removed from the events calendar of a Fulton County library.

Igarashi-Ball says he was invited to perform in April by the staff at the Alpharetta library branch, part of Fulton County’s library system. But he says the county library system removed the “Drag Queen Story Time” from its events calendar.

While a spokesperson for the library system said that the event wasn't canceled, the system decided to withdraw all promotions of the event.

Igarashi-Ball said he’s been reading to children of all ages at the Ponce de Leon Avenue branch, typically once every two months since September 2017. The events remain popular, he said.

After hearing about the story, the Atlanta mayor tweeted that "Miss Terra Cotta Sugarbaker and all of our LGBTQ friends are always welcome at Atlanta City Hall" and suggested that they do an event together.

Igarashi-Ball said his drag persona is suited to working with children in libraries.

“I would describe her as a modern Southern belle (with) big hair, and I feel like she’s an aged-out pageant queen,” he said. Think Delta Burke’s depiction of Suzanne Sugarbaker in the CBS show “Designing Women.”

The event, which happened on Saturday morning, featured face painting, playtime with Atlanta mascots, snacks, and the reading.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.