Helping to populate the landscape of a child or young adult’s imagination is a true pleasure and an awesome responsibility, one made both easier and more complicated by the explosion of books featuring characters we rarely or never saw until recently. But are all these books created equal? What makes one more impactful, more appealing, or more welcoming to young readers? Writer and publisher S. Bear Bergman shares his thoughts and suggests some answers based on what he’s learned in 20 years of work on equity and justice of the imagination.
S. Bear Bergman is an author, storyteller, educator and the founder and publisher of children’s book press Flamingo Rampant, which makes feminist, culturally-diverse children’s picture books celebrating LGBT2Q+ kids and families. He writes creative non-fiction for grown ups, fiction for children, the advice column Asking Bear, and was the co-editor (along with Kate Bornstein) of Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation. These days he spends most of his time making trans cultural competency interventions any way he can and trying to avoid stepping on Lego. His 10th book is SPECIAL TOPICS IN BEING A PARENT, from Arsenal Pulp in the spring 2024.
Visit his website: https://www.sbearbergman.com/
Dynamic, funny and engaging, Barbada is a drag artist who has been performing throughout Quebec since 2005. In addition to delivering disco, pop and dance performances, the drag queen – who is also a DJ – hosts a number of parties, notably for Cirque du Soleil, several weddings and numerous corporate events, knowing how to adapt her approach to any occasion.
After several years of experience on stage, Barbada became known to a wider audience thanks to a variety of projects.
In 2016, she was in the documentary series Ils de jour, elles de nuit on ICI ARTV. That year, she also started Drag Queen Story Time, where she reads stories to children aged 3 to 8 years old, with the aim of promoting openness, acceptance and self-esteem.
In 2021, Barbada became one of the three mentors of Call Me Mother, a competition on OutTV, in which she acted as a coach for the next generation of drag performers, a role she continued for the second season of the show.
In 2022, she became the first Quebec drag queen at the helm of a children’s show with the series Barbada, on ICI TOU.TV, in which she invited artists to take part in her colourful universe in order to help children discover music from Québec.
She has also been featured on Bonsoir bonsoir! and in the radio programs De l’huile sur le feu and Il restera toujours de la culture on ICI Première. Barbada also had the honour of being the Star Fairy for Montréal’s 2022 Santa Claus parade.
With her humour, her candour and her values, Barbada shows us that drag is for everyone.
You can find her online at www.barbada.ca
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