Drag Queen Appearance Geared Toward Teens in New Hampshire Raises Concerns

Drag queen Monique Toosoon is scheduled to appear for a poetry reading Jan. at the Nashual Public Library

An upcoming appearance by a drag queen in Nashua, New Hampshire, is drawing some serious controversy.

One of the biggest problems some people say they have is that the drag queen’s appearance is geared toward teenagers and is being held at a public place funded by taxpayer dollars.

The event called “Drag-queen Teen Time” is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday at the Nashua Public Library. Teens are invited to hear poems read aloud by one of the state’s most recognizable drag queens, Monique Toosoon.

“This came up from the library, they contacted me and I was so excited about it because I always wanted to be a role model for people having the same issues I went through,” Monique said.

NBC10 Boston is hiding Monique’s real identity because since word got out about her library appearance, she’s received a barrage of hate mail.

“That I have gender dysmorphia, that I am a confused loser, a stripper, the things I’ve been called in the past two weeks... it’s pretty traumatizing even for someone as strong as I am,” Monique said.

A conservative group in New Hampshire called Cornerstone Action is taking a stand against Saturday’s event, saying they’ve been inundated with messages from community members.

“These parents are concerned because they saw this as promoting self-harmful behavior,” said policy analyst Christopher Jay.

The group considers Monique Toosoon a pornographic performer and says there’s no justification for her appearance at a public library.

“I think it’s degrading and insulting in so many ways,” Jay said. “There is no way to say this is good or this is going to help you.”

Monique disagrees completely and is hopeful that Saturday will be the start of something positive for teenagers trying to find their way.

“It’s my chance to let people know that they’re not alone, and that I’ve been through this and that there is always light at the end of the tunnel,” Monique said.

Library officials are making it clear, although Monique will be in full costume, this is not a drag show. Monique will be reading some poetry and then answering questions from the audience.

Library Director Jennifer McCormack wrote, in part, “Like any of our programs, it is strictly voluntary and we expect that families will make decisions for their own children about whether they may attend. I know that this program will not be welcomed by everyone, but I stand by it as an appropriate and timely program for our teens.”

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