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Jackson Heights Lawmakers Hold Rally Friday in Support of Drag Queen Story Hour

Several local lawmakers held a rally outside the Jackson Heights public library Friday in support of Drag Queen Story Hour, a program where drag queens read books and perform for children. (Photo by Adrian Childress)

Oct. 31, 2022 By Michael Dorgan

Several local lawmakers held a rally outside the Jackson Heights public library Friday in support of Drag Queen Story Hour, a program where drag queens read books and perform for children.

Councilmember Shekar Krishnan, State Senator Jessica Ramos, as well as Assemblymembers Catalina Cruz and Jessica González-Rojas, took part in the rally to advocate for Drag Queen Story Hour.

The rally outside the 35-51 81st St. library was organized as a way of countering recent protests against the initiative. For instance, in September, Drag Queen Story Hour at a street fair in Jackson Heights was disrupted by protesters. So too was an event held at the Elmhurst Library.

Earlier this month, protesters with chalk defaced the sidewalk outside Krishnan’s office in opposition to the program– and wrote that the city was stealing tax dollars to fund pedophiles.

“Our neighbors are being targeted and we won’t stand for it,” Krishan said at Friday’s rally. “Here in Jackson Heights, we show our children to stand up for each other; we teach them that all are loved. We are proud to support the beautiful storytellers of Drag Story Hour because their love and joy will always drown out the hate.”

Drag Queen Story Hour, whose advocates say promotes inclusivity and acceptance, sees local drag artists visit libraries, schools, and other community spaces to read to kids and teens.

The program has proven controversial, with opponents saying that it is inappropriate for children and should be reserved for adults only. The opponents say that they are not homophobic, and that they just want to shield their kids from explicit performances.

They also take issue with the program being funded by the city. For instance, The New York Post reported that the non-profit organization Drag Queen Story Hour—and its predecessor group—has been awarded more than $200,000 in city contracts since 2018.

Video posted online Friday shows at least 10 anti-Drag Queen Story Hour demonstrators protesting the lawmakers at the rally.

“Stop sexualizing our children… save the children,” one of the protesters shouted, while another yelled, “nobody supports the s—t.”

Cruz, who helped organize last month’s street fair in Jackson Heights that drew protesters, took aim at those who oppose Drag Queen Story Hour.

“We stand united here today with a clear message – hate has no home here.”

“We proudly welcome the Drag Queen Story Hour to our community and remain committed to programming that enhances and educates our families and neighbors.”

The lawmakers were joined by David Kilmnick, president and founder of the New York LGBT Network, representatives for the Queens Public Library at Jackson Heights, the non-profit group Make The Road New York and LGBT activists.

Jessica González-Rojas speaking Friday (Photo: via Twitter)

Meanwhile, González-Rojas said the program was here to stay despite pushback from some residents.

“Love will always be louder than hate in Jackson Heights,” González-Rojas tweeted afterward. “I joined colleagues today in solidarity and support of drag queen story hour. In fact, they only demonstrated how important this programming is.”

Meanwhile, Krishnan said the sidewalk in front of his office was vandalized by demonstrators after Friday’s rally. He tweeted images of the scrawls being cleaned up by his staff and said he was unfazed by such actions.

“The community support we feel is more powerful than the racial slurs, homophobia, and vandalism we witnessed today.”

Councilmember Shekar Krishnan, pictured second from the right, inside the Jackson Heights public library Friday (Photo: Krishnan via Twitter)

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14 Comments

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Save the children

How come we are being forced to have this drag queen stuff? We don’t want it and it’s being forced on our children.

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what the what?!?

$200,000 for reading to kids!? what happened to the day when people just volunteered?? I remember Teachers, Librarians or just nice parents who had some spare time reading at the library. We need a tax boycott!

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C'mon Man

“We proudly welcome the Drag Queen Story Hour to our community and remain committed to programming that enhances and educates our families and neighbors.” no they dont. not one politician has brought their kids to these events. on the other hand, they did get it right that the city was stealing tax dollars. that’s all this city is good for. why do you think the budget just for this city alone, not the entire state, is over 1 billion dollars?

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Scream queens of Jackson heights

Seriously ??! These politicians have too much free time on their hands
Note
No press conference on rising crime

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Liberalism is a mental disorder

There is a time and place for everything. Drag queen shows are night club entertainment for adults. They do not belong in schools. Then it becomes grooming of children.

Schools have trouble enough teaching kids the basics like reading, writing and math. They should not be wasting valuable class time on agenda-driven nonsense pushed by lifestyle advocacy groups.

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MAC

riddle me this: isn’t it grooming when you surround your children with heteronormative ideas their whole lives? what about when children see a man and a woman kiss? how about encouraging your child to get married to someone of the opposite sex? isn’t that grooming ??

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Stay away from the kids.

No. It’s called healthy, natural human behavior and it keeps the human race going.

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Adele

Oh plse this sounds and looks so staged. Anything to get their names on the news. First Caban then Aoc and now above. Its all so phony.

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