Drag Queen Story Hour event goes ahead despite bomb threat: ‘We’re stronger together’
A Drag Queen Story Hour event went ahead at an LGBTQ+ community centre in Princeton, New Jersey, at the weekend despite being subject to a bomb threat.
Those at the event said the threat created “even more love” among them.
The bomb threat, received on Saturday (26 August), forced the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice (BRCSJ) to move the planned story-telling, hosted by drag queen Carrie Dragshaw, to an outside space nearby.
Princeton police said they received an anonymous email that contained derogatory remarks, aimed at LGBTQ+ members and those affiliated with the BRCSJ, shortly before 10.50am.
The sender claimed numerous explosive devices were placed in an around the community centre. Police evacuated occupants while sniffer dogs searched for explosive devices.
Nothing was found and people were allowed back in at around 12.40pm. A follow-up investigation has begun.
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Threat brings LGBTQ+ community together
Founder and chief activist of the BRCSJ, Robt Martin Seda-Schreiber, described the centre to PinkNews as a safe-space for LGBTQ+ youth, intersectional families and “all our beautifully diverse” folk.
The fake bomb threat brought out resilience, strength and solidarity in the community, he added.
“We simply took a fabulous field trip down the block and shared our stories, created community and embraced [one another], both literally and figuratively, with great respect and even more love.”
Dragshaw, whose wig and crown were left behind during the evacuation, told PinkNews: “The voices of negativity can be loud, but I believe the voices of positivity are greater.
“A kid was wearing a shirt [with the message]: ‘We’re stronger together’, and I really believe that. I’m a firm believer in not letting the negativity take over the narrative. There’s so much love and joy in the community.”
A mum-of-two who attended the event, Ruxandra Barb, said: “What a beautiful lesson of resilience for the kids who were chased from the centre by the hateful bomb threats, only to see the adults lovingly embrace them in the safety of the community.”
Similar events have been under attack around the world, with the executive director of Drag Story Hour, Jonathan Hamilt, telling PinkNews earlier this year that drag bans are just the start of an attempt to “eradicate” the LGBTQ+ community.
According to GLAAD, more than 140 drag events were attacked or threatened with violence last year.
In the UK, residents of a town in Wales failed in a recent attempt to block a performance, accusing its host of being “predatory.”
The events see drag performers reading stories to children, creating affirming and inclusive spaces where kids can be their authentic selves.
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