Drag Queen Story Hour Event In Hudson Valley Sparks Planned Protest

A drag queen story hour for children in the Hudson Valley has sparked planned protests at the bookstore where the sold-out event is taking place.

Protests are expected during a drag queen story hour for children at an Orange County bookstore.
Protests are expected during a drag queen story hour for children at an Orange County bookstore. Photo Credit: Facebook/Montgomery Book Exchange

The event, "Drag Queen Story Hour With Cookie Doe," will be held in Orange County at the Montgomery Book Exchange Children’s Chapter in Montgomery at 2 and 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 1.

Both the town and the Montgomery Police Department said in a joint statement they are expecting protests, both in support and opposition to the event.

"While everyone is entitled to their opinion, we remind you that if you do not like the material or do not support this event, you have the option to stay home and not attend," the departments said. "No one in attendance is being subjected to anything against their will. The parents attending and bringing their children are choosing to attend this event."

They are also warning any protestors to stay off of private property areas surrounding the event, except those with tickets.

The store's owners said they are hosting the event fully aware there could be opposition.

"We decided to hold this event fully aware of possible negativity, but more importantly, fully aware of the positive impact it could have on our community," the owners Walter Pahucki and Claire Noorlander Pahucki said on Facebook. " We will have a person reading children’s books to children in our store. (Story Time). These children will be accompanied by their own parents, who are fully aware of all the details of this event."

The couple said all who are interested are welcome to the free event, but if you don't like it, "that's OK, don't come."

Two organizations fully against the event include the Orange County Young Republicans and Orange County Teen Republican clubs. Both have voiced "grave" concerns about the reading.

"We cannot say this more sternly: We strongly oppose the sexualization of children and those who condone it," the groups said in a prepared statement. "Anything drag is inherently sexual content, which is why these events typically at bars and other adult establishments for those over the age of 18 or 21 -- not local children's libraries.

"Men dressing as women in exaggerated and provocative outfits while reading to children is perverted and gender non -conforming, both of which are damaging and confusing to children," the added. 

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