Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is opening up the doors of City Hall to a drag queen who got snubbed by Fulton County.
Bottoms (top photo) issued the invite to Steven Igarashi-Ball, who performs as Miss Terra Cotta Sugarbaker, to read to children as part of the Drag Queen Storytime series. The invite follows Fulton’s decision to cancel an April 6 Drag Queen Storytime event at the Alpharetta Branch Library without giving a reason.
Bottoms tweeted the announcement on Friday.
“Miss Terra Cotta Sugarbaker and all of our LGBTQ friends are always welcome at Atlanta City Hall,” she wrote. “How about we host your next story hour? @CityofAtlanta — let’s make it happen! #OneAtlanta”
Igarashi-Ball reacted to the news on Facebook later that afternoon.
“Thank you to Keisha Lance Bottoms - you made my day!” he wrote.
Igarashi-Ball has participated in Drag Queen Storytime since September 2017 with the endorsement of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System. The library system has held the events at its branch on Ponce de Leon, with the exception of one in Piedmont Park last October during Atlanta Pride.
Earlier this year, officials from the Alpharetta library invited Igarashi-Ball to bring Drag Queen Storytime outside the perimeter. But officials canceled the April 6 event. Igarashi-Ball went public about the county’s actions after several weeks of trying to get an answer about why the event was called off.
“I felt that if our program and myself were under attack, I would have a right to know who my attackers were,” he told Project Q Atlanta in March.
A Fulton County spokesperson also refused to provide a reason for the cancellation to Project Q.
Igarashi-Ball was able to reserve a room for Drag Queen Storytime at the Alpharetta Branch for April 27, but the event will go on without the endorsement of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System.
Igarashi-Ball was unavailable for comment on Monday.
Miss Terra Cotta Sugarbaker and all of our LGBTQ friends are always welcome at Atlanta City Hall. How about we host your next story hour? @CityofAtlanta—let’s make it happen! #OneAtlanta �� https://t.co/gj3eUIRZSC— Keisha Lance Bottoms (@KeishaBottoms) April 5, 2019
UPDATE | Igarashi-Ball told Project Q he was "thrilled" that Drag Queen Storytime has received the mayor's attention.
"Like the mayor, we are committed to a community that celebrates inclusion, diversity and creativity," he said. "We hope to take the mayor up on her offer and have a collaborative event scheduled in the next few months."
"Additionally, I’d like to recognize the thousands of citizens that are working to support our event and expand our Storytime. We have so many citizens who have stepped up to fight intolerance, and who are working to make sure our event happens. It truly takes a village, and I am humbled by the outpouring of support," he added.