When drag queens read to children


On June 20, 2018, the public library in Olean, New York hosted a “drag queen reads to children” event. A man who claimed to be the “Region 2 Director” for the National Socialist Movement posted on Facebook that he would go to the library to protest along with some other National Socialists (Nazis). “Flo Leeta,” the drag queen, claimed that the library had received death threats and arson threats.

These events motivated a group of people to travel from Buffalo, NY and demonstrate in support of drag queen story hour.

I did not personally see any National Socialists at the event, but through talking to people there, it seems that one had indeed shown up and stood off to the side for most of the demonstration. I just did not notice him. A handful of protesters from a local church were also at the library.

Olean, New York is a city of 14,000 people in an otherwise rural area. It is a 90 minute drive from Buffalo.

Here are some pictures from that day. This is one of my few efforts in photojournalism. I expect to do more in the future.

The crowd in support of Flo Leeta filled the library’s front lawn.

Local press talking to protesters from a nearby church.

Protesters from a local church.

The crowds were not disruptive, but several police were on hand just in case.

This is what all the fuss was about…

The room during Flo Leeta’s performance was at overflow capacity.

Demonstrators taking a snack break near a communist flag.

Three people relaxing on a picnic table in front of the library.

These women brought a sign to show to the Christian protesters. The lady cop (center-right) immediately told them to take the sign over to where the pro-drag queen crowd was hanging out.

Here was their sign.

The sign was a big hit among the supportive crowd.

The guy on the right, local to Olean, wore a Gadsen flag pin to identify himself as a libertarian supporter of Flo Leeta and the library. Here are other demonstrators explaining to him that the Gadsen flag is a racist symbol. After some discussion they still could not see eye to eye, and he removed the pin.

Click for local media story.

Other notes:

I have been posting a lot of new content to my Instagram and Flickr pages. Follow those accounts to keep up on the newest stuff. I am happy with the direction my photos are taking and will redesign the images featured on this website when I get around to it.

I am also using this post to test out a new WordPress plugin that will automatically mirror this post on my Steemit blog.

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