There won’t be a drag queen story hour at the Soldotna Public Library on Saturday, after all.
The Soldotna Pride group scheduled a number of “Happy New Queer” events to start the new year, including karaoke and adult trivia nights at various venues on the Kenai Peninsula. But the using of public library facilities to promote drag queens to children was postponed because of public outcry against the using of taxpayer facilities to groom children into alternative sexualized lifestyles.
“The Soldotna Pride Council strives to provide safe spaces for all people, including members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Freedom to assemble and express one’s self is guaranteed by the First Amendment, thus, everyone should feel safe, secure and comfortable being their authentic selves and not live in fear of attending a public event in our community. It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to postpone the Jan. 6 story time in the Community Room at the Soldotna Public Library. We believe in the freedom of expression, however, we are aware of the violent rhetoric on social media and elsewhere toward readers and participants who plan to attend story hour, and we are choosing to prioritize the safety of those children and families,” the group wrote on Facebook.
“We would like to thank Chief Meek, the City of Soldotna, the library staff, the volunteer readers and The Queen’s Guard for their support. We apologize to the families who planned to attend and assure you that we will hold inclusive story times in the future. The Happy New Queer trivia and karaoke events will continue as planned on Jan. 6,” the group said.
The group also laundered the graphic advertising the event and removed the name of drag performer “Ivanna Kischakok.”
Some of the group’s supporters on Facebook were dismayed and said they had looked forward to taking their children to the event.
But the drag group reiterated that this is merely a postponement and indicated it would be back on the Kenai at a future time.