Opposing protest groups clash outside Brockville, Ont. drag event

Click to play video: 'Opposing protest groups clash outside Brockville, Ont., drag event'
Opposing protest groups clash outside Brockville, Ont., drag event
WATCH: On Saturday, the Brockville Public Library hosted a Drag Story Time event that was met with opposition from a small group of protesters, and that led to a counter-protest – Dec 19, 2022

More than 50 people filed into the Brockville Public Library on Saturday for its first-ever Drag Story Time event.

Simultaneously, a group of 14 people protesting against the drag show traded verbal barbs with a group of counter-protesters who were there to defend the event.

The library’s CEO, Geraldine Slark, was among the counter-protesters.

“We were just having a party out there, just having a great time so that we couldn’t hear the megaphones of the extremists that were shouting things,” said Slark.

There were some tense moments, and a bomb threat was called into the library after the event.

Story continues below advertisement

“There was a vague threat that was called in after the event, or was discovered after the event,” said Brockville Police Deputy Chief Andrew Harvie. “The building was searched, there was no evidence of any explosive device and we’re still investigating at this point.”

Drag performer Dare de LaFemme, who hails from Kingston, says they were able to block out the noise and put on a show for the dozens of children who were in attendance.

“I am a professional and I did what I was there to do and, really, it’s about the kids. So, in that moment, it’s not about what’s going on outside, it’s about showing up as me, for them,” said de Lafemme.

Police said despite the butting of heads outside, there were no incidents during the protest other than a few people who were asked to exit the building and did so without issue.

Slark says despite the pushback, the event received far more support than opposition.

“Libraries have been doing drag story times for almost 10 years at this point and it’s only in the past couple of years that we’ve gotten this feedback and that we’ve gotten this language of ‘we shouldn’t have queer events in the library,'” said Slark.

Story continues below advertisement

Through the library’s social media channels, Slark says the library will host one drag event for every protester that showed up Saturday.

The next Drag Story Time is slated to take place this January.

Sponsored content