ROCKTON, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockton’s Talcott Free Library announced it will now hold a controversial performance by a Rockford drag queen virtually, citing safety concerns.
“The police and fire departments conservative estimate is that approximately 1,000-1,500 people angry with each other are going to show up to Rockton. This is an unmanageable situation for our very small downtown area,” the library, located at 101 E Main Street, said.
Last month, there was a large protest against the event, which was originally advertised as being suitable for grades 6th through 12th, but was later amended to remove the appeal to teens.
Across the nation, “drag story hour” events have become flashpoints of controversy. Typically, the public are invited to attend readings of stories by drag queens in libraries, schools and other community spaces. The events were begun in 2015 in San Francisco and were geared toward children, in an effort to normalize LGBTQ relationships. The LGBTQ community regards them as a display of “Pride.” However, concerned parent groups have bristled at the events as exposing children to an adult, sexualized lifestyle.
The original Facebook event listing said the July 14th event is part of the “Find Your Voice” summer reading program.