Demonstrators spat “pure hatred” outside the Manhattan library where Drag Story Hour was held

A group of protesters spat “pure hatred and bigotry” outside a Manhattan library hosting a Drag Story Hour event on Saturday, but failed to stop story time for neurodiverse children.

The group protested the event, which featured drag performers reading books to children, at the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library in Chelsea. Saturday story time was specifically designed to be accessible to children with autism and other disabilities.

The protesters held signs that read, “Stop this nonsense. There are only 2 genders”, “Stop grooming children for sex” and “Let children be children” while yelling expletives and showing the middle finger, videos posted by Council Member Erik Bottcher.

“Today I witnessed pure hatred and bigotry before the Drag Queen Story Hour in a Chelsea public library,” Bottcher said Saturday. “Inside, I witnessed a loving and peaceful reading of children’s books to children.”

Across from the foul-mouthed group, a gang of counter-protesters chanted “thank god for the drag queens” and formed a human chain in front of the library’s entrance to prevent the anti-LGBTQ+ protesters from disrupting the event, according to the footage.

“A group of protesters attempted to disrupt a drag story hour for neurodiverse children. The story hour went as planned, including readings, painting activities and a ‘dance party’ at the end,” a spokesman for the New York Public Library said in a statement.

Videos posted to Twitter show people outside the library clashing, knocking at least one person to the ground as police officers tried to keep the peace.

Anti-Drag Story Hour protester holds sign reading "Stop with the nonsense.  There are only 2 genders."
Council member Erik Bottcher called the protesters the “faces of hate” in a video he recorded.
Anti-Drag Story Hour protester holds sign reading "Stop grooming children for sex"
The anti-drag protesters claimed that drag performers groom children without any evidence.

Both the NYPD and New York Public Library security forces were on hand to manage the conflict. There were no reported injuries or property damage, and no arrests.

At least some of the angry protesters appeared to be from the anti-vaccine group Guardians of Divinity, which has held similar anti-drag rallies at libraries hosting drag queen story hours across the five boroughs.

The group claims drag queens groom children — a baseless allegation that Bottcher described in one as “disgusting and offensive.” Interview with ABC7.

“Here’s an idea: If you don’t like Drag Story Hour, don’t go,” he added.

Council member Erik Bottcher
Böttcher said storytelling in the library was peaceful and loving.

Anti-drag queen demonstrations have swept the country in recent months as attacks on the LGBTQ+ community mount.

Last month, a gunman killed five people and injured 17 at an LGBTQ+ club in Colorado in what prosecutors have ruled a hate crime.

The New York Public Library said it won’t let hatred stop it from hosting Drag Story Hour and other events.

“Our guests enjoy the Drag Story Hour, and the library will continue to offer programs that support a variety of voices,” said the spokesman for the New York Public Library. “This is especially important at this moment when we are seeing an increase in hatred and violence against LGBTQ+ communities.” Demonstrators spat “pure hatred” outside the Manhattan library where Drag Story Hour was held


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