With supporters standing on the porch outside, drag queen Harmonica Sunbeam, above, entertained about two dozen families who packed a children’s story time at the Red Bank Public Library Monday evening.
Miss Sunbeam, representing the organization “Drag Queen Story Hour,” read stories about a spoon, a goose and kindness to a semicircle of delighted children, most of them toddlers, while parents looked on.
Her appearance was the second at the library within a week to mark LBGTQ Pride Month. The first, last Wednesday morning, drew a handful of protesters who shouted “pedophile” and other slurs at patrons as they arrived for the event.
At Monday’s event, three objectors stood about 50 feet from the front door reading from a Bible and holding a sign reading “Teach the Children about Jesus, not about Drag Queens!” Police were on hand for both events.
Children’s librarian Sira Williams told redbankgreen that her goal is always to let children and older residents know that the library is a welcoming space to all.
“I do a program on diversity, and this is part of the diversity,” she said. “No matter what they look like, what color they are, how they identify, what language they speak, this is a good space for them.”
Citing “backlash” on social media about the event, Williams said “most of it was not necessarily from our community. But it just made me feel even stronger that if there are people with those opinions, if you’re a young person, or any person, that’s what makes it hard for you in the world.”
Attendees were “people from our community, so that makes me happy,” she said.
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