Community Cafe, Drag Queen Story Hour find temporary home

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Mandy Keyes at the original Community Cafe in the Grand Central District. Photo courtesy Community Cafe.

ST. PETERSBURG | Former Grand Central District restaurant Community Cafe, the home of Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) Tampa Bay, has found sanctuary at the LGBTQ-affirming Allendale United Methodist Church.

Owner Mandy Keyes opened Community Cafe in 2013 to become “your home away from home,” offering a full menu specializing in vegan and vegetarian options. It served as a safe space in St. Petersburg’s traditional “gayborhood” until late last year.

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Anti-LGBTQ ‘Activist Mommy’ targets Drag Queen Story Hour Tampa Bay

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: “The Activist Mommy” Elizabeth Johnston burns “Teen Vogue.” (Screenshot via Facebook)

ST. PETERSBURG | Drag Queen Story Hour Tampa Bay and its host venue Community Cafe are the latest targets of the anti-LGBTQ vlogger Elizabeth Johnston, also known as “The Activist Mommy.”

Drag Queen Story Hour Tampa Bay began in Sept. 2018. The majority of the monthly events—which exist to entertain and inspire children—have been held at the cafe in St. Petersburg’s Grand Central District, affectionately referred to as “The Gayborhood.”

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Drag Queen Story Hours enchant Central Florida, Tampa Bay

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Once upon a time, in the mystical land of San Francisco, wordsmith Michelle Tea had a dragulous idea.

As the Lambda Literary Award winner for Best Lesbian Fiction and the creator of RADAR Productions, the nonprofit that develops groundbreaking literary work by supporting LGBTQ artists, she understood both the power of community and the written word—and so Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) was born.

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Inaugural Drag Queen Story Hour Tampa Bay draws anti-LGBTQ protest

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Participants in the first Drag Queen Story Hour Tampa Bay (DQSHTB) were greeted by religious protestors at St. Petersburg’s Community Cafe Sept. 29.

DQSHTB was formed by Adira Elham and is exactly what it sounds like, she advises. It features area drag entertainers reading stories to children in libraries, schools and bookstores. It aims to capture the imagination and play of childhood and give children glamorous, positive and unabashedly queer role models.

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