In change of heart, ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’ event back on in Bristol

In change of heart, 'Drag Queen Story Hour' event back on in Bristol

BRISTOL, R.I. (WPRI) — Drag Queen Story Hour is back on in Bristol.

Last week, Rogers Free Library announced the scheduled event was canceled because of threats of protests and possibly violence from residents.

The library said Tuesday after receiving overwhelming support members of the community, the event will move forward as planned on June 15 at 1 p.m.

“We are confident that we can now ensure a safe environment for children and their families,” the library said in a statement.

The Bristol Democratic Town Committee responded to the library’s change of heart, saying they’re thankful for their willingness to hear feedback from the community.

“We are grateful to all who stood up, and spoke out, in support of our LGBTQ+ community members,” the committee said in a statement. “We are particularly proud to have had the immediate and unequivocal support of our local elected leaders, who made it clear that Bristol is, and always has been, a place that is ready to celebrate diversity and the rights of all people.”

Tuesday night, Bristol residents Eyewitness News spoke with said they didn’t understand what the big deal was in the first place.

“I think it’s sometimes people wanting to take control of too many situations,” Rick Gauvin, of Bristol, said. “Let it be.”

“I’m really supportive of this being an open community,” Mackenzie Harrington, of Bristol, said. “I’m surprised there was an uproar about it.”

Despite opposition, Fall River Public Library held a Drag Queen Story Hour event over the weekend. Library officials said they had such a strong turnout, they had to hold three separate readings.

During the event, members from America Needs Fatima and Baptist Temple Church of Fall River prayed outside the library in protest of the event.

“We want dialogue. We want fairness,” Michael Johnson, of the Baptist Temple Church, said Saturday. “But one thing we can’t allow is letting them take it to the level where it is normal and unopposed.”

Local drag queen Naomi Chomsky had this to say in response: “I’m just here reading to children and doing a craft. They are the ones politicizing it. Not me for once in my life.”

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