Saturday Library Event Draws Anti-LGBTQ Protesters – NBC New York

Protesters trying to shut down a public reading event geared toward neurodiverse children at a New York City library were met by a wall of LGBTQ supporters who showed up in support of the drag artists hosting the story hour.

The standoff over a children’s event outside the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library in Chelsea on Saturday is the latest attempt from a fringe movement targeting drag events over unsubstantiated allegations of grooming.

The event was billed as “storytime with local drag performers adapted to be more accessible to kids with autism and other disabilities.”

The group demonstrating over the weekend brought handmade signs covering a spectrum of issues; messages protested everything from fascism to grooming to gender identity.

NYC Councilmember Erik Bottcher shared images online of the protesters, some of whom he tried speaking with before entering the children’s reading event.

“I want to show you the face of hate, right here in Chelsea,” Bottcher said, before showing the counter protesters clad in rainbows.

The New York Public Library said the event went off as planned, and added that it would continue to offer programs supporting diverse voices.

“A group of protesters attempted to disrupt a Drag Story Hour for neurodiverse children. The story hour went on as planned, including readings, coloring activities and a ‘dance party’ at the end,” the NYPL said. “This is particularly important at this moment when we are seeing a rise of hate and violence targeting LGBTQ+ communities.”

The rise in anti-LGBTQ rhetoric raises concerns about escalating acts of violence. It was only last month that a gunman opened fire inside a queer nightclub in Colorado Springs, killing five people and wounding 17 others.

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