NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Right-wing activist and painter Scott LoBaido announced his intention to protest a Drag Queen Story Hour event at a Staten Island children’s museum on Saturday.
Leftist groups have already announced their intention to counter protest, as has become a regular occurrence for events involving children and queer identity across the country.
New York City Drag Story Hour, a non-profit that organizes storytelling and creative arts programs for children and teens, will host the event at the Staten Island Children’s Museum in Snug Harbor at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
LoBaido posted three videos and a flier on social media baselessly accusing the event of “grooming” children.
He also delivered an ultimatum to the museum to “cancel the thing by Friday at 12 noon or you will have thousands of angry, righteous people on your property.”
As of Friday afternoon, the event was still scheduled to move forward as planned.
Dina Rosenthal, the museum’s executive director, expressed support for the event in a statement to SILive.
“The Drag Story Hour is a program to celebrate diversity in a light-hearted fashion including stories, songs, and movement activities,” she said. “We have heard of a possible protest. We are disappointed to hear that there is opposition to this event that showcases inclusivity and kindness.”
As right-wing media and politicians increasingly push a narrative that falsely labels gay and trans people as pedophiles conspiring to corrupt children, protest and intimidation at all-ages drag events has become commonplace. So has the inevitable counter protests attempting to shield families from harassment.
Protesters and counter protesters faced off at a Drag Queen Story Hour in Elmhurst, Queens on Sept. 27.
In August, armed right-wing protesters were met by armed left-wing protesters at a drag brunch in Texas.
Amid the anti-gay hysteria, drag events have been targeted for violence as well.
On Nov 19., five people were killed and 18 were injured at a drag performance at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The shooting took place on a Saturday night, during a drag show for adults. An all-ages drag show was planned at the venue the next day.
New York’s reputation as a bastion for freethinking progressives has not shielded it from anti-gay hate crime intimidation. A Hell’s Kitchen gay bar was repeatedly attacked by a man throwing bricks at windows this month.
In April, a man set fire to a Brooklyn gay bar.