Drag Queen Storytime in Fall River goes on despite controversy

FALL RIVER, MASS. (WHDH) - Hundreds turned out to hear stories of acceptance during a Drag Queen Storytime event at a Fall River library despite protests unfolding outside.

Drag Queen Naomi Chomsky was greeted with cheers after her first story time in front of a packed house of children and parents. So many people showed up to support the event they had to add two extra readings.

“No matter who you are, you’re somebody who deserves love, you deserve respect, you deserve to have your identity respected, your pronouns respected,” Chomsky said.

Some parents, including Thadama Melenda, had very personal reasons for attending the event.

“I have two children who are in the LGBT community,” Melenda said. “I have watched how they struggled, I have watched how their peers picked on them, how they got bullied.”

However, what some may consider inclusive, others consider immoral.

A group representing the conservative Massachusetts Family Institute held a silent prayer protest outside the library. Some holding signs reading things like, “Honk for purity.”

“If the people aren’t warned, or informed, or educated or anything like that then they are going to be dragged over by another immoral movement of America,” Pastor Michael Johnson said about the event.

When asked if he believed parents should have the right to choose what their children are exposed to, Johnson answered: to some extent, yes.

“We want to expose those parents to what they need to know as well,” Johnson said. “We know that righteousness wins, we know truth wins.”

Johnson’s protest drew several counter protestors donning signs reading, “Keep hate out of Fall River.”

One counter protestor said, “We have no room for hate and that is what this [event] is all about.”

The library says that all three story times were standing room only.

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