WARMINGTON: Library drag protest draws more supporters than detractors


Article content

HAMILTON — Dressing up for story time in Hamilton was a drag for some and a celebration for others.

Article content

It’s not every day a library draws such a large crowd, or creates so much controversy, but the Hamilton Public Library hosting a Drag Storytime event Thursday found a lot of both.

Article content

If you were looking for quiet, you would not have found it at the Terryberry branch up on Hamilton Mountain.

What people did find was about two dozen protesters on one side of the parking lot, about four dozen supporters on the other, and police in the middle.

And not a lot of agreement.

Richard Love holds a Leave the Kids Alone sign outside the Terryberry branch of the Hamilton Public Library on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022 Joe Warmington/Toronto Sun
Richard Love holds a Leave the Kids Alone sign outside the Terryberry branch of the Hamilton Public Library on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022 Joe Warmington/Toronto Sun Photo by Joe Warmington /Toronto Sun

While the counter protesters outnumbered the protesters, inside the library were about 40 children and their parents and grandparents being read a story by a drag performer in full costume named Dragstar Hexe Noire, whose online presence warn of being an adult and of mature age to view and who has an agent for appearance bookings.

Article content

It’s unclear if the performer was paid for this appearance.

Article content

A request for comment on the event has been made to the artist and also to Hamilton Mayor Andrea Horwath.

This show was billed as “a supportive and inclusive story time focused on fun” where kids from “0 to four” could “hear family friendly, culturally diverse stories and songs in celebration of families with 2SLGBTQ+ parent(s) and gender variant children.”

“Shame, shame, shame,” about two dozen protesters chanted. “Leave the kids alone.”

On the other side were supporters who were equally as animated, shouting back insults and at one point breaking into a rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.

Article content

Like all demonstrations, there were hotheads on both sides as well as those who spoke eloquently on their positions.

“I just don’t think children should be subjected to this at this young age,” said Richard Love, explaining his three-year-old granddaughter regularly goes to the library and he would not want her to be exposed to something like this. “If it’s an adult thing, fine. But this is not fair to the kids.”

However, a supporter named Jeff explained that he wishes they had such events when he was young as it would have helped youth to have a safe space as they sorted out their identities.

Article content

Library spokesperson Shelley McKay said the event shows the library to be “inclusive and welcoming.”

As one supporter said in a sign “libraries are for everyone.”

That said, protesters wondered if that would include Christians reading a book about the birth of the Baby Jesus at Christmas.

The library, said McKay, does have a no religious event policy but there would be a discussion on such a request.

Whether it’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appearing on Canada’s Drag Race or the controversial transgender teacher in Oakville, many of the participants seemed to know each other from previous protests and do not see eye to eye on much.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

Some used megaphones while others yelled, and neither side appeared interested in a middle ground. But in the end, both sides left peacefully, which is full credit to the dozen Hamilton Police officers on scene who did a nice job of lowering the temperature that did get heated at times.

The supporters left first and the protesters hung around for an extra half an hour.

Meanwhile, after the show, all things went quiet again at the library, where one parent who attended with his young child said he was waiting until there was no one left to face.

“It’s like the Ottawa convoy out there,” he said. “They must have nothing to do.”

But one of the protesters said trying to protect kids from being read to by drag performers before they are old enough to understand is not wasted time.


Source link

Denial of responsibility! NewsConcerns is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@newsconcerns.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a comment