Demonstrators protest drag story hour for children at library in Chelsea

ByMorgan Norwood WABC logo
Sunday, December 18, 2022
Demonstrators protest drag story hour for children at library in Chelsea
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Demonstrators protested the event at the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library - people dressed in drag reading to kids as young as three years old. Morgan Norwood has the details.

CHELSEA, Manhattan (WABC) -- There were clashes over gender identity in Chelsea on Saturday.

Demonstrators protested the event at the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library - people dressed in drag reading to kids as young as three years old.

"Isn't this what we're supposed to be doing - teaching kids about? The power of reading? And while we're at it, yeah, we're teaching a lesson about you know, people come in all shapes and sizes," said Councilmember Erik Bottcher.

Bottcher attended the event and took cellphone video of the disruption outside. He says the protesters were trying to force their way inside the library.

"The protesters outside were saying things like 'stop grooming our kids for sex,'" he said, "there's nothing more insulting than to accuse someone of victimizing children."

The drag reading at the library is nothing new, and neither are the protests and the disruptions.

What happened in Chelsea is just the latest in attacks on the LGBTQ+ community. Just last month, a gunman opened fire inside an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs.

From coast to coast, GLAAD says there have been more than 120 threats and incidents across 47 states

As for New York, people say there is no place for hate.

"I've been in NYC for the last 25 years and grown up around different types of people, and it's a shame that we've seen so much violence," said Nimet Shabshawar.

Eyewitness News is told the library security, along with NYPD were on hand. No one was injured, and there were no arrests or property damage.

The library says it will continue to offer programs that support a diverse array of voices.

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