Thursday, December 8

Proud Boys announce plans to disrupt Columbus drag story event for children

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The Proud Boys, a far right extremist group, has announced that they will be gathering at a drag queen story time event in Columbus on December 3rd.

The Holi-drag Storytime event is slated to be held at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus and is described as “a new family-friendly, LGBTQ+ holiday tradition in Central Ohio.”

The event is being hosted by the Red Oak Community School, a K-5 school that “offers a learner-centered approach to education for families dedicated to cultivating joy in learning, fostering self-confidence and agency, and preparing students to be environmental stewards and champions of social justice.”

Ohio performers Mikayla Denise, Bianca Debonair and Ava Aurora Foxx will be reading children’s stories and performing holiday-themed numbers at the event.

First flagged by Advance Democracy, Inc., a non-partisan, non-profit research organization, the Proud Boys post from November 15 read:

The Columbus Proud Boys would like to announce that we will be attending the Holi-drag Storytime being held at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus on December 3rd! We look forward to meeting all of the attendees and welcome Americans from all over to join us. It’s gonna be wild! Stand by for details…

Proud Boys Columbus Chapter post

Right Wing Watch picked up the story, explaining the significance of the word “wild”:

The emphasis of a “wild” protest is likely a reference to Jan. 6. Former President Donald Trump had called on his supporters to attend a rally on Jan. 6, 2021, promising that it would “be wild!” Many of attendees of that rally, including members of the Proud Boys, later marched on the U.S. Capitol, attacking police officers and storming the building.  

Event organizers have set up a fundraiser to collect donations for “every hateful comment, dislike or phone call received about the upcoming Holi-drag Storytime fundraising event.”

Though the Proud Boys posted their intent on November 15, the news of this protest by a group associated with anti-LGBTQ+ violence comes less than 48 hours after a mass shooting at an LGBTQ+ night club in Colorado Springs.

Kaleidoscope Youth Center (KYC) — Ohio’s largest and longest serving organization supporting LGBTQ+ youth — was scheduled to staff an information table at the event, but has withdrawn due to safety concerns.

“Our community is in a specifically vulnerable space right now, and we take all threats seriously,” said KYC executive director Erin Upchurch. “While we recognize and support the importance of visibility, we also prioritize promoting safety for our team and community; especially our youth” 🔥

Ignite Action:

  • Be safe. First and foremost, always err on the side of safety. 
  • Check out the event organizer’s fundraiser.

About Author

Ken Schneck is the Editor of The Buckeye Flame. He received the 2021 Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for the LGBTQ Journalist of the Year from the NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists. He is the author of "Seriously, What Am I Doing Here? The Adventures of a Wondering and Wandering Gay Jew" (2017), "LGBTQ Cleveland" (2018), "LGBTQ Columbus" (2019), and "LGBTQ Cincinnati" (2020). In his spare time, he is a professor of education at Baldwin Wallace University.

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24 Comments

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  15. I’m a gay man, but why in the world are drag queens reading stories in children’s schools ? this is so insane ! STOP this nonsense ! This is a selfish attempt by these drag queens to get attention.

    • Drag Queen story hours are sponsored all throughout the world and are truly entertainers getting children to love books. I think you might have it wrong about what actually happens at these events.

    • All sorts of groups read to children, literate people tend to like it. I fail to see why drag queens should be any differnt.

    • Anytime you start a comment off with “I’m a gay man, but…” stop typing, move your finger to the backspace button and delete. Being a gay man has nothing to do with the hateful misinformation you are attempting to spread by insinuating that it’s inappropriate for someone (that you do not know whether they are a danger or not) to read to children at a family friendly event just because their choice of attire makes you feel intimidated. I’m pretty sure that there are going to be a lot of “Proud Boys” planning to protest this event that are on a certain registry, banning them from being within 25 yards of a school, but we aren’t going to talk about that. If I, as a woman, were to show up in a suit and tie, does that automatically make you assume that I’m a predator to those children? Or do you save the spreading of dangerous propaganda to “save” children from professional entertainers that simply want to read them a book and bring them some type of joy in this disgusting world?

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