Many Protest Drag Queen Story Hour in Hudson Valley
Many protested a Drag Queen Story Hour at a Hudson Valley library and thousands have signed a petition after an event at another library in the region was postponed.
There was an increased police presence at the Putnam Valley Library as the library hosted a Drag Queen Story Hour event.
No arrests were reported and officials with Drag Queen Story Hour report the event was a success, with an attendee saying on Facebook the event was "amazing."
Drag Queen Story Hour is a nonprofit organization. According to the organization, Drag Queen Story Hour is what it sounds like local drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools and bookstores.
"DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real," Drag Queen Story Hour writes on Facebook.
During a story hour, a drag queen typically reads three to four children's books.
Drag Queen Story Hour started in San Francisco and now has chapters in many states including in New York.
The Rye Free Reading Room was scheduled to host Drag Queen Story Hour on Saturday, Feb. 8, but the event has since been canceled. The library’s director told the New York Daily News the event was indefinitely postponed but didn't give a reason why.
“Our organization can also be life-changing and ultimately life-saving for LGBTQ kids and teens, kids with LGBTQ parents or family members, and anyone who feels different because of their identity or interests or who may not otherwise see themselves reflected in the broader culture,” Jonathan Hamilt, DQSH’s global programming director, told the Daily News.
As of this writing, nearly 7,000 have signed a petition to reschedule the event.
"Unfortunately, DQSH has been interpreted as threatening by a small but vocal group of citizens, who, in their ignorance, have taken a children's event about gender identity, inclusiveness, and acceptance and conflated it with sexual identity, sex work, and pedophilia," Joie Cooney who started the petition said.
A GLAAD spokesperson told the Daily News the library's decision to postpone the event was “ill-informed” and “sends the wrong message to youth and parents alike.”
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