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Drag tale hour hosts, under attack, cultivate inside their heels

Drag tale hour hosts, under attack, cultivate inside their heels

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Protesters pray external outside a library inside New York City while Flame, a haul monarch sporting a bright wig with every one other accompanied by a scarlet gown, entertains the children inside by singing the ABCs, leading a coloring activity with every one other accompanied by perusal books concerning how it's OK to exist different.

Outside Chicago, protesters harass parents attending storytime accompanied by their children with every one other accompanied by proclaim that the staff operating the event came "from the devil."

And inside a San Francisco suburb, men invade Panda Dulce's perusal at a library's Drag Queen Story Hour, shouting homophobic with every one other accompanied by transphobic slurs.

After focusing on transgender athletes with every one other accompanied by youths, anti-LGBTQ rhetoric is now targeting haul storytimes — conceived while a way to educate with every one other accompanied by entertain children by appealing to their imaginations — accompanied by interruptions with every one other accompanied by other protests reported across the country inside the past set of two weeks, since Pride Month began.

Organizers of the tale hours speak that communal media accounts are fueling the backlash with every one other accompanied by that opponents claiming they want to retain protected from danger children are actually scaring with every one other accompanied by endangering them. The organizers said they will grow safety nevertheless won't place an extremity to their programs.

The perusal groups have faced pushback from the beginning, nevertheless the recent vitriol is new, said Jonathan Hamilt, administrative director of Drag Queen Story Hour with every one other accompanied by the co-founder of the New York chapter.

"Being a small portion of the LGBT population with every one other accompanied by a queer human being inside general, we've always experienced hate with every one other accompanied by slurs with every one other accompanied by homophobia with every one other accompanied by transphobia. That's unfortunately fair small portion of our existence," Hamilt said. "All this feels different with every one other accompanied by extremely real, with every one other accompanied by it feels a small portion scarier."

Drag Queen Story Hour, a nonprofit, was started inside San Francisco inside 2015 by activist with every one other accompanied by author Michelle Tea. Chapters have since opened across the U.S. with every one other accompanied by elsewhere. Other organizations accompanied by readers inside haul have too formed.

As small portion of Drag Queen Story Hour's programming, haul queens read to children with every one other accompanied by their parents at libraries, bookstores, fairs, parks with every one other accompanied by other condition spaces to commemorate perusal "through the glamorous art of drag."

When the library inside San Lorenzo, concerning 25 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of San Francisco, held its earliest Drag Queen Story Hour quartet years ago, people prayed across the road inside protest, said Alameda County librarian Cindy Chadwick.

Last weekend, while the library hosted its following such event, at least five men — one of them wearing a T-shirt showing a rummage with every one other accompanied by the words "Kill Your Local Pedophile" — walked inside with every one other accompanied by began hurling insults at Panda Dulce while she read to children with every one other accompanied by their parents, Chadwick said.

"The horrible irony of it was they said over with every one other accompanied by over, 'We're here to retain protected from danger the kids.' And it was the kids they were terrifying. The kids were frightened of them, with every one other accompanied by the kids were there accompanied by their parents who had brought them to this event," Chadwick said.

A spokesperson for the county sheriff's office said the men, who identified themselves while members of the Proud Boys, are all residents of the Bay Area. The episode is actuality investigated while a hate crime.

The Alameda County Library, which continues to receive threats, now plans to host a Pride event every one month for the relax of the year, Chadwick said, with every one other accompanied by the sheriff's office will provide security.

The library event was mentioned on a right-wing Twitter description that, down accompanied by other communal accounts, has framed haul queens while abusive, depraved "groomers," Chadwick said. The same description shared a promotion for a "Kiddie Korner" at a Pride event inside Waukegan, Illinois, that was to include a haul storyteller with every one other accompanied by dress-up bin.

It resulted inside dozens of angry calls with every one other accompanied by messages, said Nikki Michele, administrative director of the nonprofit LGBTQ+ Center Lake County, which ran the event.

"A a large amount of, you're a groomer, place an extremity to grooming children, groomer, groomer, groomer, you're a pedophile," Michele said.

The event was interrupted by protesters who tried to film children with every one other accompanied by yelled at their parents, Michele said.

In Mahwah, New Jersey, a flyer disseminated online with every one other accompanied by left-hand on doorsteps with every one other accompanied by inside condo lobbies misrepresented a haul performer while a "known PORNOGRAPHER" who "normalizes PEDOPHILIA AND ABUSE OF CHILDREN."

Detractors called local management offices with every one other accompanied by the Mahwah Pride Coalition inside attempts to shut down its storytime event, said Susan Steinberg, the nonprofit's director. But Angel Lauriano, who performs inside haul while Honey Marie, weathered protesters with every one other accompanied by showed up anyway Monday — inside lengthy sleeves — to talk to kids concerning cats, dogs with every one other accompanied by their dreams inside life.

The objection military operation — while intended — is giving some parents stop concerning bringing their kids to a space where they could exist harassed. But Michele said it's important to exist visible.

"That would exist a bad show of trust if my own kids weren't flat there," Michele said. "But I mean, it did scare me sufficient that I had that discussion accompanied by myself."

Framing LGBTQ people while endangering children builds on the same playbook anti-gay crusaders used inside the 1970s, said Don Haider-Markel, a University of Kansas political science professor.

"The word they used at that hour dated was recruitment," Haider-Markel said. "Now they've fair switched that to groomers. It's elderly vin de table inside a new bottle."

It's a master scheme conservative candidates are using to motivate white evangelical Christians to vote, according to Randall Balmer, a Dartmouth College historian of American religion.

"The haul monarch tale hour plays just into their fears that the children are going to exist led astray by evil or satanic or alien ideas," Balmer said.

Several politicians have discussed plans for legislation to ban haul shows for kids or punish parents for taking their kids to one. Among them is Texas condition Rep. Bryan Slaton, a Republican.

"Children don't need to exist focused on sexual intercourse with every one other accompanied by sexualization, with every one other accompanied by we need to permit them fair grow up to exist children with every one other accompanied by permit them do that while they're getting closer to actuality an adult," he said inside an interview.

While numerous haul queens are known for risqué with every one other accompanied by profane acts inside nightclubs, Lauriano with every one other accompanied by others who read to children tailor these performances to exist kid-friendly.

"People automatically assume since we do drag, we want to become females or we want to exist sexualized," he said. "It's a way to build people be in touch happy. It's to entertain. It's to build people smile."

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Swenson reported from New York City.

Drag tale hour hosts, under attack, cultivate inside their heels

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