Protest expected at Taber drag story time event

Click to play video: 'Protest expected at Taber ‘drag queen story time’ event'
Protest expected at Taber ‘drag queen story time’ event
June is Pride Month but as advocates in one community prepare to celebrate, one of their events is being met with pushback. The opposition centres around a ‘drag queen story time’ event in Taber this weekend. As Erik Bay reports, it won’t be the first time an event like it has been met with opposition. – Jun 2, 2023

Story time with readers in drag have become targets of protests, and an upcoming event in southern Alberta is no exception.

Pride week drag story time is happening at the Taber Public Library on Saturday and organizers are bracing for protests.

“Unfortunately, we’ve received some backlash with a whole bunch of misinformation,” said Chantal West, co-chair of the Taber Equality Alliance, which is hosting the event.

“It’s not for those (people) to decide how others raise their children, if what one is doing is in the best interest of the kid and is not harming anyone.”

Click to play video: 'Drag queen book reading sparks protest outside downtown Edmonton library'
Drag queen book reading sparks protest outside downtown Edmonton library


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Organizers of the Taber protest say they want to “protect all children.”

Sarah Penner declined a Global News request for an interview, instead providing a statement.

“Quite simply, we don’t believe this is an event for children,” Penner’s statement reads in part.

“No matter how ‘innocent’ the opposition will make it sound, we believe it is too sexual in nature for our children.”

Taber Equality Alliance said the event only includes reading “age-appropriate” books to the audience of children, before raising the Pride flag at the library.

The two sides held a meeting in May to discuss their views, but it ended with both the reading and protest going ahead.

Those protesting say they want to keep it respectful.

Click to play video: 'Drag story time sparks protest outside Kelowna Library'
Drag story time sparks protest outside Kelowna Library
“We are lucky to live in a Country [sic] where we have freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the right to peaceful protest. My hope is that the protest will be held with peace and respect and come from a place of love,” Penner’s statement adds.
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The local pride community is hoping for the same as their events move forward.

“If they feel that that’s what they need to do, then (they’re) more than welcome to,” West said. “Just let’s keep everything peaceful and agree to disagree.”

The pushback is nothing new for drag readings in Canada. Cities like Calgary, Edmonton and Kelowna have all recently seen protests at events.

This all comes as the month of June marks Pride Month, a time to honour and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.

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