Critics demand end to Drag Queen Story Time at Michigan library
HUNTINGTON WOODS, Mich. (FOX 2) - A popular reading series called Drag Queen Story Time at Huntington Woods Library that aims to teach kids about diversity and acceptance is under fire.
"It was just people enjoying a nice story. It was simple," said Tina Tomicic.
Tina took her young children to story time at the Huntington Woods Library for a new program and the guest reader was a local drag queen. The story was about encouraging kids to be who they are.
"I think it's important for people from all walks of life to come together and enjoy a nice time together," Tomicic said.
So Tina was a bit surprised when she saw in the Detroit Free Press on Monday that the program was suddenly under fire.
"A very popular program that our citizens like. We're not going to be bullied by outside hate groups telling us what to do," said City Commissioner Joe Rozell.
Rozell said Drag Queen Story Time has been going on for about a year, but recently the commissioners received vicious emails from an out-of-state group called Mass Resistance, calling the program vile and perverse and demanding it end.
"Gender bending - this destruction and attack on the identity of male and female is deeply destructive to children," said Arthur Schaper.
Schaper from California said his group plans to protest at the next story time in January, and he says they have found a friend in city commissioner Allison Iversen who is opposed to children so young being exposed to drag queens.
"What kind of impact that could have on a child who is not really mature enough yet to handle those tough discussions," Iversen said.
"There's no evidence that anyone that has attended this event has left as a drag queen or anything like that. It's completely ridiculous," Rozell said.
Even so, Iversen said she plans to address the issue at Tuesday's city commission meeting. It's her last one because she's moving to another town. The Mass Resistance folks tell FOX 2 they won't be there, but a standing-room only crowd is expected. The city is now looking at additional security for the meeting and the next drag queen story time.
"We don't want to take any chances, both with our young folks, our young residents, and those who may attend our city commission meeting," who said.
It's a meeting city officials said will not result in Drag Queen Story Time coming to an end. In fact. it will probably be more popular than ever.
"The program will continue as long as the community supports it and are in favor of it, so I don't anticipate there being any changes to the program," said Huntington Woods City Manager Amy Sullivan.