Drag Queen Storytime Draws Hundreds Despite Initial Community Backlash
Hundreds of people came to support YWCA’s storytime event, which had local drag queen, Connie Hung, come read elementary school books to children Saturday.
The event was originally going to be at Pybus Public Market on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. However, Pybus Public Market General Manager Travis Hornby released a statement detailing the calls, emails, and messages they received, attacking them for being venue space for the event.
Hornby wrote that due to the threatening nature of some of these messages and talking with all of the stakeholders involved in this situation, the Board of Directors felt that Pybus would be ill-equipped to keep the Pybus staff, tenants, and participants safe.
The event was then moved to YWCA NCW’s headquarters on 212 First St., on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Wenatchee Pride Vice President Stella Winter said that as a nonbinary person, they were glad the event was so successful despite all the outrage that was purported online.
“Having this much color and love in your life, is what the queer community is about,” Winter said. “Watching six protesters walk around with their sad little signs, it just makes you realize that you have love and support and maybe they don't and that's why they're so sad.”
One of the protestors, Randy Cagle described some of the fears he had growing up regarding homosexuality and how he turned to Christianity after a difficult period in his life.
“As an adolescent, I used to worry about things like 'what if I grew up and I was attracted to men instead of women,'” Croyle said. “It was very abnormal at that time. That was a long time ago, it was very unusual and people were persecuted.”
Later on he added, “I looked into the Baha'i faith, I thought that was really inclusive and great, but I just became disinterested when I when I really turned my life over to Christ.''
He concluded that he felt that homosexuality was only a sin if the person acted out on their desires, rather than just repressing who they were.
“I don't hate anybody here and I get tired of being called a hater,” Cagle said. “I love people.”
Another protestor David Croyle said he did not actually go in and see the Drag Queen Storytime himself, however he had seen drag queens before and that was enough to form his opinion.
“I'm basing much of what I'm guessing is happening in there, as far as dressed up on what happened over at the library and that was just incredible, that was bad,” Croyle said.
In regards to the actual storytime event, parents and their children were vying to get inside the YWCA building, with storytime sessions quickly filling up.
One of the parents who attended storytime was Kelsey, a mother of two. She recalls the Mama, Mama, and Me story that Connie Hung read to her children and said she did a great job engaging with the kids.
“This was one where mama goes out of town on a business trip and the kids are sad and have to get through the week and wait for mom to come home,” Kelsey said.
“We are a two-mom family and it's nice that we can see the dynamics of our peers and that we are all similar as we all love our children and we just form our families differently, but everybody can come together for positive thoughts and positive events for children that we all feel set a good example for our kids.”
Although she was disappointed that YWCA had to move to a different venue, she was glad that the event was not canceled.