The Putnam Examiner

Drag Queen Story Hour Draws Protesters to Put Valley Library

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Angel Elektra hosted a Drag Queen Story Hour at the Putnam Valley Library on Feb. 1. Facebook photo.

It was quite a scene at the Putnam Valley Library on Feb. 1, with dozens of protestors outside rallying against a Drag Queen Story Hour that was taking place inside, where Angel Elektra was reading to about 40 children.

“We started off singing ‘The Heels of the Drag Queen,’ which is a remix of the song ‘The Wheels on the Bus,’ and then after that we went on and read my first book, ‘Pete the Cat – I Love my White Shoes,” Elektra told News12 Westchester after the event.

Elektra – dressed in full drag with wig, makeup and dress for the event – said the purpose of Drag Queen Story Hour is to spread a message of acceptance and tolerance.

“We’re just here to spread love,” she said. “We’re not here to change nobody’s lifestyle… I’m just here to be that role model that I didn’t have when I was growing up.”

However, protestors did not see the program as an innocent one.

Some held signs that read “Dear God let not the little children be perverted by Drag Queen Story Hours” and “No infanticide, no destruction of the families, no sexualization of children.”

Others had homemade posters that read “Respect and protect innocent children,” and “Honk for No to drag queen story hour.”

Putnam Valley Town Supervisor Sam Oliverio was at the event in support of the library.

“I was very proud of our library for not shutting the program down under all this negative publicity they received,” he said. “Likewise, I was proud of those who were not in favor of the program for peacefully making their feelings known.”

Oliverio said the protections of the First Amendment are of utmost importance, and this event showcased both the library’s right to free speech and freedom of religion, and the protestors’ rights, as well.

“I live by the Bill of Rights and the Constitution,” he said. “Both the pro-event people and con-event people were doing their protests, which is their right under the Constitution.”

Oliverio joined the county sheriff in prohibiting anyone who didn’t register for the program in advance from entering the library. “I barred them, literally, with the sheriff,” he said. “I was very happy nobody went after anybody.”

The supervisor said the program was “a huge success. Both the parents and children enjoyed it,” he said. “My own personal opinion of the program doesn’t matter. It was a program that the library put on, it was requested by many people, and it was sold out.”

Oliverio also pointed out that a similar program was hosted by the library in June, when a “Rainbow Story Hour” took place – and drew no protestors.

“The drag queen title, that’s like waving a red flag in front of a bull,” he said. “That’s what caught the attention of many residents.

“Diversity is important,” he added. “Again, I was proud of the library for not canceling the program. That would have been a big defeat of the First Amendment.”

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