‘Butch’ female bikers protect drag queen story hour from right-wing bigots

Female bikers in a Pride march in Ontario, Canada

A butch motorbike group has explained proudly why it took a stand to defend a family-friendly drag queen story time event in Ontario.

Members of the Wind Sisters biker group stood outside of Middlesex County Library in Parkhill, Ontario on Saturday (29 April) to defend drag queens and attending families from inevitable anti-LGBTQ+ backlash.

Family members had to be escorted into the library by LGBTQ+ community organisers due to the dozens of anti-drag protestors attempted to block the library entrance.

During the event, members of the women’s motorbike group reportedly linked arms to prevent protestors from entering the premises.

“Historically, a butch – like myself, and I’ve been one for 50 years now – our role in the community has always been one of the great protector,” Wind Sisters membe Patricia Ginn told CTV News.

“Today, we wanted to come here and show protection and help the community celebrate all of our inclusivity.”

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The female-only biking group, which has thousands of members across northeast America, including in the US and Canada, promotes itself as a place where young bikers can “connect and ride together.”

‘We just hid in the closet’

Efforts by members of the group to protect the local drag event came from their own hardships growing up without any opportunities for LGBTQ+ representation to flourish.

“As a young tomboy, when I came out, there was nowhere for me to go,” Ginn continued. “I was born in a small town in Quebec, and it was a scary time for us, so we just hid in the closet. We didn’t come out to big events like this.”

The group were joined by other members of the LGBTQ+ community in the area, including Strathroy Pride organisers and local group the Rainbow Optimist, who both scheduled the event.

Members who surrounded families to protect against the protestors said having to do so was “unfortunate,” especially for the children in attendence.

Strathroy Pride director Frank Emanuele said: “I feel for the children who had to walk through that. We want to be supportive to everybody that’s brave enough to come to these events.”

Despite the pushback from anti-LGBTQ+ activists, Strathroy Pride aims to host a number of Pride events across the year.

Past events have included a family dance and ice skating sessions designed to promote inclusivity for LGBTQ+ families and allies.