James' announcement that she would host a "Drag Story Hour" in New York City at the West Village LGBTQ+-centric The Center , specifically targeting families with children, was met with vitriol and anger by activists who state that "Queer Spaces Must Be No Cop Zones," and demand that James not be part of Drag Story Hour events. A ditigal flier reads "Drag Story Hour Forever," and "Drag Defense," as though the Drag Queen Story Hour needs defending from the politicians that both support the undertaking and fund it with taxpayer dollars. An additional event on that day will be the "Queer Antifacist and Abolitionist Celebration."
James announced the event on Instagram and Twitter, with the event set to feature drag performers reading to children, and it is co-sponsored by The Pride Center of Staten Island and the Queens Public Library, among others.
Also in attendance will be State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal, Assemblymembers Deborah Glick, Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas, Daniel O’Donnell, Tony Simone, and City Council Members Erik Bottcher, Tiffany Caban, Crystal Hudson, Shekar Krishnan, Chi Ossé, and Lynn Schulman. The flyer for the event invites "families with children."
Hoylman affirms that "trans women are women," and sponsored a bill making New York a "sanctuary state" for children seeking medical gender transition, similar to the one passed in California sponsored by Scott Wieder.
"Families with children are very welcome. Hate-fueled bigotry is not," he wrote.
However, activists would rather not see politicians there, either. In a document obtained by The Post Millennial, activists for "Queer Spaces" attest: "On March 19, 2023, Drag Story Hour NYC is planning a "Drag Story Hour with New York State Attorney General" at The Center. We, community members who have spent the past half a year organizing defenses in support of drag story hours in NYC, are extremely dismayed at DSHNYC's decision to partner with AG Tish James for this event. DSHNYC is choosing to partner with the head law enforcement actor in the state — a person whose literal job it is to decide who, including kids, gets thrown in cages. To put it bluntly — it's f*cked up DSHNYC invited James."
"Despite our firm opposition to DSHNYC's partnership with Tish James," the activsts continue, "we will be there. We will be there not for the electeds, nor for the attorney general. We will be there to shield kids and their adults attending the drag story hour from fascist harassment, militarized police, and opportunistic politicians who consistently enable violence against our queer community. We will be there to say NO to the NYPD's repression and violence against queer people, and to its enabling of the far right. We will be there to celebrate the creative joy, strength, and resilience of queer life now and through the ages."
They announce that on the same day as the politician-hosted Drag Queen Story Hour for kids and families, there will be "
two simultaneous community-organized events: a defense for attendees of the drag story hour outside The Center (208 W 13th St), and a celebration of queer life and history at the AIDS Memorial (W12th St/7th Ave). Bring your love, your joy, your rage. Wear colorful attire, bring your rainbow swag and flags! Kids very much welcome!"
"We keep our queer community safe. Not the cops, not electeds, not an elected cop," the write in conclusion. "The systems in place were never designed to protect or serve us, so we are replacing them."
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