The Seattle Public Library is very excited for our upcoming event “Banned! Books in Drag” that will be taking place on September 27, 2014 at Neighbours Nightclub on Capitol Hill. This free event will be hosted by The Stranger’s associate editor David Schmader and will feature some of Seattle’s favorite drag performers and comics giving performances inspired by their favorite works of literature.
We recently caught up with one of the performers, Aleksa Manila, and asked her about her early literary experiences, her favorite books, and why she’s excited to take part in this awesome Library event.
Here’s what she had to say!
Seattle Public Library: Aleksa, what was your first LGBTQ book?
Aleksa Manila: My first LGBTQ book was a compilation of writings from Langston Hughes, which was gifted to me from gay friends for my birthday.
SPL: What was the first book that made you blush?
AM: The Merriam-Webster dictionary – unabridged.
SPL: What was the first book that made you cry?
AM: Dragon’s Eye by Stephen King.
SPL: Do you have a specific book you like to give to all your friends?
AM: I try to match books with friends so there isn’t a particular and specific book that I gift to all my friends. For example, a book on history to a friend who enjoys antiques, or a memoir of Eartha Kitt & autographed by Ms. Kitt herself to one of my best friends, Arnaldo!, a cabaret singer.
AM: The fondest library story is my first time. I was about four or five years old, walking down the street with my mom after a day at the park. I remember running up to a glass double door and peeking in. I was told by a lady inside that it was OK to walk-in.
I remember the layout. Straight ahead was the reception desk where the lady sat. Behind her was the entire main library section with gigantic bookshelves that seemed to touch the sky. To the left was the Periodicals Section with men in suits, and just next to that was the Children’s Reading Area with colorful and bright tables and chairs and plush toys. I obviously ran over to that section. To the right was a hallway that led to the upstairs Theater Viewing Room, where I recall watching movies like Superman 1, 2 & 3; Annie; and so on. Later, I learned that the building was the Goethe Institut Library in Manila, Philippines. Growing up, I was always drawn to the library, especially while in school – it was where I would spend my recess and break times.
Aleksa is just one of the passionate and talented performers at “Banned! Books in Drag” which will also feature Robbie Turner, La Saveona Hunt, Amora Dior Black, Atasha Manila, comedian Abbey Drake, DJ Dewey Decimal and more.
Come out and celebrate diversity, fight censorship and have a great time at one of the many unique programs hosted by The Seattle Public Library. We’ll see you there!