Queens Councilmember Shekar Krishnan has slammed a group of protesters who demonstrated against drag story hour outside his home in Jackson Heights on January 16.
Krishnan said that the handful of protesters — who carried signs that read “Stop taking children’s innocence away” and “Let kids be kids” — had engaged in “disgusting behavior.”
Video footage posted online also shows one protester shouting “Stop grooming the kids on our tax dollars.” The demonstrators appeared to have defaced the sidewalk, writing in chalk “groomer,” and “Stop pushing drag queens on kids.”
At one point the police arrived on the scene, although it appears that no arrests were made.
“After a meaningful day of reflection on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy, I came home to find homophobic and transphobic protesters outside my door, again, vandalizing the sidewalk and shouting slurs with my children inside,” Krishnan said in a statement. “This disgusting behavior is another reminder of the work ahead of us. With every display of hate, our commitment to love and inclusivity only grows.”
The lawmaker also reiterated the city council’s support of the drag story hour program in which drag artists read books and perform for children.
“This New York City Council is committed to Drag Story Hour and to our LGBTQIA+ communities across the city,” Krishnan said.
Drag Story Hour sees local drag artists visit libraries, schools, and other community spaces to read to kids and teens. Some performances are funded by the city. The anti-LGBTQ opponents of drag story hour say that it is inappropriate for children and should be reserved for adults only.
The incident was not the first time protesters have targeted Krishnan.
In October, demonstrators defaced the sidewalk outside Krishnan’s office on two separate occasions.
Meanwhile, on Dec. 29, more than two dozen protesters — from the right-wing groups the Proud Boys and the Guardians of Divinit — clashed with around 150 supporters of drag story hour outside the Jackson Heights Library.