Hate Crime Investigation Launched Into Disruption Of Drag Queen Story Hour

the Alameda County Sheriff's Office announced that it was opening a hate crime investigation into an incident at a Drag Queen Story Hour, where five men shouted homophobic and transphobic slurs such as "groomer" and "pedophile," and used white supremacist hand signals.
San Lorenzo Library (image via Google Maps)

On Sunday, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office announced that it was opening a hate crime investigation into an incident at a Drag Queen Story Hour, where five men shouted homophobic and transphobic slurs such as “groomer” and “pedophile,” and used white supremacist hand signals. Continue reading “Hate Crime Investigation Launched Into Disruption Of Drag Queen Story Hour”

News Round-Up: December 21, 2020

Joe Manganiello makes a great sexy Santa

Some news items you might have missed:

Sexy Santas: I realized I haven’t been on my game when it comes to sexy Santas this year, so I’m hoping to make up ground a bit with the snap above of Archenemy star Joe Manganiello at the beach 😉

Right Wing Watch: Right-wing pastor E.W. Jackson declares that Drag Queen Story Hour is “the equivalent of pedophilia” and says parents who take their child to such an event “need to have their children taken away from them.”

CNN: Donald Trump has turned to a fringe group of advisers peddling increasingly dubious tactics to overturn the results of the election, creating a dire situation that multiple senior officials and people close to the President say has led to new levels of uncertainty at how Trump will resist the coming end to his tenure.

Christmas Music: Tayla Parx contributes this short but sweet track, “Ain’t A Lonely Christmas Song,” to the 2020 Atlantic Records holiday release, Still Home For The Holidays.

The Hill: Thousands of Trump supporters are planning a virtual “second inauguration” for President Trump on Jan. 20, the same day of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. More than 60,000 people have indicated on Facebook that they plan to attend the event being billed as “Donald J. Trump 2nd Presidential Inauguration Ceremony.”

New York Times: A former Justice Department attorney pens a personal apology for the work she did in the Trump administration and for failing to push back more.

Elle Magazine: A journalist who covered the case of now-convicted pharma bro Martin Shkreli fell in love with him, quit her job, divorced her husband,…and then Shkreli ghosted her.

Variety: Outfest and GLAAD have partnered to produce a PSA with the cast and artists from the soundtrack of Hulu’s queer-centric rom-com, Happiest Season, to discuss the importance of finding chosen family for LGBTQ people during the holidays.

Proposed Law Would Fine/Jail Librarians For Drag Queen Story Hours

A lawmaker in Missouri has proposed legislation that would strip public libraries of state funding if they hosted Drag Queen Story Hour events.

Authored by state Rep. Ben Baker, the “Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act” would also allow for librarians to be fined or jailed if such events were held.

Baker is forthcoming about his opposition to drag queens reading to children telling the Kansas City Star, “They’ve had these drag queen story hours and that’s something I take objection to and I think a lot of parents do.”

“That’s where in a public space, our kids could be exposed to something that’s age-inappropriate,” he added. “That’s what I’m trying to tackle.”

Baker’s bill would require each library to create five-person panels, or oversight boards, which would hold public hearings and decide what ‘material’ is age-appropriate.

Librarians who went ahead with events deemed ‘inappropriate’ by the board could be fined $500 and sentenced to a year in jail.

Baker alleges children seeing drag queens might lead to questions or a conversation with parents about ‘adult themes’ that parents may not feel ready to have.

But Cynthia Dudenhoffer, president of the Missouri Library Association, says oversight already exists in the form of a board of trustees elected or appointed by the community.

In an official statement, Dudenhoffer objected to the proposed legislation calling it “censorship.”

What’s missing from Baker’s view on the issue is attendance at Drag Queen Story Hours is all completely voluntary. No one is forcing children to attend such events.

Local performers are already planning to protest the legislation in the state’s capital on March 7.

Tanner Rambo, a Springfield promoter who represents two drag queens organizing the protest, told the Springfield News-Leader, “This kind of bill is just bad policy.”

“You’re talking about people in big, goofy dresses telling stories in funny voices and trying to get kids interested in reading, which I think we should all want,” said Rambo.

He added, “If you want to disagree philosophically, you can. Don’t go. These aren’t things people are mandated to attend.”

Rambo also notes that Baker has a history of anti-LGBTQ animus having proposed legislation that would allow adoption agencies to turn away gay couples looking to adopt if doing so offended their ‘sincerely held beliefs.’

The Star reports that while Kansas City’s public library hasn’t held Drag Queen Story Hours, such events at St. Louis public libraries are among the most popular with hundreds attending.

I have to add that I agree with Mr. Rambo. The point of Drag Queen Story Hours is to encourage children to suspend belief and explore their imagination while embracing a message of diversity and acceptance.

The American Library Association has fully endorsed these types of programs, in any iteration, as a right to intellectual freedom. They have even curated a collection of resources for individuals seeking to bring Drag Queen Storytime to their libraries or community spaces.

Packed house at Drag Queen Story Hour in Wichita

News Round-Up: January 22, 2020

Matthew Camp (via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: I’m still in a Matthew Camp kinda mood since I met the woofy hunk (above) at the GayVN Awards Monday night. #EvenBetterInPerson

Instinct: After being canceled by Netflix earlier this year, PopTV has picked up Season 4 of One Day At A Time, with a premiere date of March 24th at 9:30 pm ET/PT. The LGBTQ-inclusive reboot of the 70’s classic follows the Cuban-American Alvarez clan, an immigrant family living and loving in California. The luminous Rita Moreno co-stars as sassy grandmother ‘Lydia.’

NY Times: The impeachment trial of Donald Trump is now underway. Use this link to check for the latest developments in the trial. Today, Trump set a new Twitter record as he lashed out at House managers seeking his removal from office.

NBC News: Missouri lawmaker proposes bill criminalizing public libraries’ drag queen story hours. Under the proposed law, librarians would be subject to fines or jail time for holding such events.

Yahoo Finance: Michael Bloomberg has spent more than a quarter-billion dollars on political advertising since joining the Democratic presidential race, far outpacing all other candidates. Bloomberg’s presidential campaign has spent $209.3 million on broadcast television time, $13.7 million on cable, $1.1 million on radio and $27.2 million on digital.

WXII-12: A Wilkes County pastor was arrested Thursday on more than 100 counts of felony sex offenses that span 15 years, detectives said. Rodney Dean Luffman, 58, of Pleasant Ridge Road, was charged with 115 felony sex charges — 80 counts of indecent liberties and 35 counts of sexual offenses. One of the victims was as young as 4 years old, and the other was as old as 16 when the offenses occurred.