Despite Backlash, Drag Queen Reading Event Will Go On at Lansdale Library - NBC10 Boston
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Despite Backlash, Drag Queen Reading Event Will Go On at Lansdale Library

"I've gotten some pretty gross, nasty, violent stuff directly toward me"

Find NBC Boston in your area

Channel 10 on most providers

Channel 15, 60 and 8 Over the Air

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    ‘Drag Queen Storytime’ at Montgomery County Library Sparks Controversy

    An event at a local library that was meant to foster acceptance and inclusivity has now sparked outrage, and local law enforcement has prepared for protests. NBC10's Deanna Durante explains.

    (Published Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019)

    A weekend drag queen reading event for kids at a local library will go on as scheduled, even in the face of angry phone calls and a possible protest.

    The "Drag Queen Story Fun Time" with drag queen Annie Christ is still happening Saturday at the Lansdale Public Library despite opposition from conservative Christian groups who say she promotes anti-Christianity.

    The event has been scheduled for about a month, but only in recent days have groups come out against it, Christ said, adding that she has received threats of violence. "I've gotten some pretty gross, nasty, violent stuff directly toward me," she said.

    Steve L. Piotrowski is one of the men who has organized a "prayer gathering and rally" at the library at the same time as the reading event. In a statement, he said the name "Annie Christ" is a play on "anti-Christ" and therefore represents a form of religious discrimination.

    Golf Ball Kills 6-Year-Old

    [NATL] Golf Ball Kills 6-Year-Old

    Community members in Orem, Utah are in shock after a freak golfing accident killed a little girl. Investigators say 6-year-old Aria Hill was sitting in a golf cart next to a tee box when her father hit a ball that struck her in the back of the head.

    (Published Wednesday, July 17, 2019)

    "As a Lansdale Public Library donor, I am concerned along with everybody else that the library is taking on such a politically controversial issue - especially when receiving tax dollars," Piotrowski said in a statement to NBC10.

    The event, however, is not actually officially sponsored by the library or the city, the chief of the Lansdale Police Department said. Christ qualified to rent the library space and passed a background check to do so.

    "The library is open to everyone," Tom Meyer, the director of the library, told NBC10.

    Prime Day Surpasses Black Friday and Cyber Monday

    [NATL] Prime Day Surpasses Black Friday and Cyber Monday Despite Protests and Strikes

    Amazon's 2019 summer blow-out sold more items than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, according to the e-commerce behemoth, despite strikes and protests scheduled to coincide with Prime Day.

    (Published Wednesday, July 17, 2019)

    And, Christ said, the event is not as controversial as Piotrowski makes out. "I get so many messages every day of people being supportive and it's so refreshing," she said.

    Instead, most of the furor has been coming from out of town, according to the LPD chief, who added that officers will be at the library to make sure any protests don't get out of hand.

    In Lansdale itself, where Christ has lived for the last five years, she says she's received an outpouring of support.

    Man Who Lost 5 Family Members in Boeing Max 8 Crash: ‘I Miss Them Every Minute of Every Day’

    [NATL] Man Who Lost 5 Family Members in Boeing Max 8 Crash: ‘I Miss Them Every Minute of Every Day’

    Paul Njoroge lost five of his family members aboard the Boeing 737 Max 8 that crashed during Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March of 2019. He provided testimony in front of a House subcommittee hearing on aviation safety on Wednesday.

    (Published Wednesday, July 17, 2019)

    "I'm so proud of Lansdale. I could not be more proud of the community and just the outpour of support that I'm getting. It's really great," she said.

    She intends to push ahead with the reading event and has even used the attention and increased interest to make it double as a food drive for local charity Manna on Main Street.

    She also plans to talk with Piotrowski, who reached out to her saying he would like a "civil conversation" and that he doesn't "hate" her. Though he also praised Christ for her work to help the hungry in a message shared with NBC10, Piotrowski says he still plans on holding the rally.

    Air Force Major Charged With Wife's Gruesome Murder

    [NATL] Air Force Major Charged With Wife's Gruesome Murder
    The husband of a missing San Antonio, Texas, woman was charged with murder after authorities confirmed they'd found the remains 29-year-old Andreen McDonald. The Bexar County Sheriff's Office arrested Andre McDonald, 40, just two days after authorities found a human skull and bones Thursday night. 
     
    (Published Tuesday, July 16, 2019)

    Christ, however, remains undeterred and wants to use the reading event to inspire kids and show them that there's nothing wrong with being different.

    "When I was younger ... I was just the odd person out and I thought that something was wrong with me. So I figured I would use this opportunity to tell kids it's OK to be different, it's OK to be weird," she said. "Listen to the music you want to listen to. If you're not hurting anyone, if you're not hurting yourself, then it's OK."

    Christ will read two books Saturday: "Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed" and "Sparkle Boy." The first title is about a naked mole rat who enjoys wearing clothes, unlike his peers. The second is about a boy who is teased for liking traditionally feminine things and whose older sister initially finds his preferences odd.

    Hiker Found Alive After Disappearing For Four Days

    [NATL] Hiker Found Alive After Disappearing For Four Days

     60-Year-Old Sheryl Powell survived three nights in the White Mountains of California with her dog.

    (Published Monday, July 15, 2019)

    In addition, kids who attend will be treated to snacks and dancing and coloring activities.